Commissioner of Agriculture Rolando Wilson recently attended the Dutch Caribbean Visioning Process 2022 Conference in Curacao with all island representatives promoting their Agriculture governance and initiatives. It was great to participate in the presence of folks who care about sustainable food access, food security, and food safety by adopting good governance practices," stated Commissioner Wilson.
Topics of discussion were 1) Strategic Specialization, 2) Dutch Caribbean Vision Work Agreement content, 3) Cooperation per Inter-island Collaboration, 4) Infrastructure & Transportation of Product, 5) Knowledge Center for Sharing Best Practices, 6) Good Governance and Risk Management, 7) the Development of Educational Programs, and 8) Evaluation to Sustain Momentum and Progress toward Food Sovereignty.
Ministers of Aruba and Curacao signed a non-binding Declaration Form to acknowledge a need for a path forward with the presence of the remaining Caribbean Sister islands pledging support and interest to review a Memorandum of Understanding for adoption. The goal is to establish joint initiatives and work together to accomplish each island's needs. At the same time, meeting the challenges in food access, security, and safety due to the risks of a pandemic, climate change, war-time interruptions in food chain access, and natural disaster logistic challenges.
"During the visit, Jim Garza of Gezondheid Farms and myself were able to hold discussions with our BES colleagues and the RVO representatives in allocating RVO funding of $2.2m USD into the BES Island region for Farmer, Animal Husbandry, and Marine Life initiatives that will have a direct benefit into risks and challenges facing our islands" explained Commissioner Wilson. Our next meeting will be held in Aruba in May 2023 for the next steps. "We will provide more details in the coming months."