IICA representative pays courtesy call on agriculture minister – Eye Witness News

Discussions included “Buy Local Buy Bahamian” campaign and 2022 collaborative work plan to increase economic opportunities for Bahamian agriculture and the Family Islands

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Mari Dunleavy met with Clay Sweeting, minister of agriculture, marine resources and Family Island affairs, recently to discuss a number of initiatives.

During the meeting, Sweeting asked Dunleavy to convey The Bahamas’ congratulations to IICA Director General Manuel Otero on his recent re-election to head the hemispheric agricultural agency for a second term and expressed support to Otero and his initiatives that promote technology, innovation, economic opportunity and climate resilience in the region.

Representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Mari Dunleavy meets with Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting (left) in early 2022. (KENDEA SMITH)

Dunleavy briefed Sweeting and his staff with several such IICA initiatives benefiting the Bahamas and supporting the ministry’s priorities.

She noted that the Caribbean’s first Green Climate Fund initiative supporting agriculture, pegged at $1.2 million, seeks to strengthen The Bahamas’ foundation and capacity in the agricultural sector to access climate finance for building resilience and promoting low-carbon agriculture.

Additionally, the initiative builds in a certification and skills program specifically for youth to increase their job marketability and skills.

Dunleavy explained IICA’s “Buy Fresh, Buy Local, Buy Bahamian” campaign geared at encouraging Bahamians to buy local to reduce the country’s heavy import bill.

The campaign is in conjunction with the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC); Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs; and Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC).

IICA and TDC are erecting billboards across New Providence.

The first of these billboards, which features Bahamian farmers, can be seen at Montague Foreshore.

Future billboards are expected, including digital signage at Fusion Superplex, pending Fusion’s consent and approval.

Additionally, Dunleavy and Sweeting discussed the AgriExtApp.

IICA and The Bahamas have been working on a pilot phone app that will enhance the exchange of information and communication between farmers, extension workers and other stakeholders throughout The Bahamas agriculture sector — especially in the Family Islands.

Sweeting expressed support for IICA’s continued development of the technology and Dunleavy committed to increased resources to expedite the rollout in The Bahamas.

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