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?Minister Persaud tells UWI Congress on 60th anniversary Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud has said that a policy failure and lack of focus on investing in agriculture across the world is the main contributor to the current world food crisis.Addressing the International Congress which was held as part of the University of the West Indies’ 60th anniversary in Port of Spain,NFL Jerseys Wholesale, Trinidad,Cheap Jerseys For Sale, recently, Persaud advised that right policy decisions be taken to prevent further global food crises in the Caribbean region.Agriculture Minister Robert PersaudThe Minister,China Jerseys, however, said that despite the convergence of global crises which threaten the very existence of the region, there is hope that can mark efforts to transform agriculture and ensure food security.He encouraged countries to re-energize current regional institutions and make them more relevant to development needs and forge more equitable and productive partnerships with collaborators that are external to the region such as international financial institutions, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, international NGOs and other development partners.“Without food security, we deprive our citizens of the fundamental human right to live fulfilling lives as free citizens,” he added.According to Minister Persaud, a recent World Development Report by the World Bank conceded that over the past 20 years, the agricultural and rural sectors have suffered from neglect and under-investment.Highlighting neglect of agriculture in the region,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Outlet, Minister Persaud said that two decades ago,Wholesale China Jerseys, Caribbean nations accounted for more than two percent of the world’s agricultural trade with a surplus of US$3B.This has now declined to less than 0.3 percent with a deficit of more than US$2B.This he attributed to the region becoming more dependent on imported food and increasing consumption of crops and livestock imports which can be readily grown in the region.“We now import more than US$3B worth of food – more than 350,000 tonnes of vegetables; 380,000 tonnes of fruits; 480,Wholesale Baseball Jerseys 2018,000 tonnes of meat; 1.3 million tonnes of milk; 2.4 million tonnes of oil crops, and 6.4 million tonnes of cereals,” he explained.Minister Robert Persaud (right) and an official at the Trinidad forumThe Agriculture Minister said that a major challenge for the region is for it to appropriately utilise its regional and national institutions to contribute to transforming the agricultural sector, making it more dynamic, more responsive to its needs as a region in the pursuance of its development – especially in the agriculture and food sectors.He further encouraged the region to work closely with the private sector so that the synergies between these institutions can be exploited and a stronger partnership can be cultivated.Minister Persaud expressed the need for the private sector to be involved in sustainable land and water management and to partner in infrastructure and logistics that connect farmers with processors and retailers working together to meet food safety and trade standards and developing and supporting credit and insurance instruments and schemes tomitigate agricultural risks.He noted that despite all the talks and efforts, there is still no level playing field in the agricultural trade.Providing physical and financial access to sufficient food for the world’s population in an environmentally sustainable way has been recognized as a global problem that requires a global solution, yet the developed world continues to subsidize its farmers while the Region is told to increasingly liberalize its markets.
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