Heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have fully endorsed a new project proposal titled “Building Food Security through Innovation, Resilience, Sustainability and Empowerment” introduced by Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali, during the 44 Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government held from Feb. 15-17 in Nassau, Bahamas, The Guyana Chronicle reported on Sunday, Feb. 19.
Guyana has pledged $2 million towards financing and implementing the project; this project will also benefit from the $100 million line of credit under the CARICOM Sustainability Agriculture Credit Facility, which uses Republic Bank Limited as a lender and the $28 million in financing that the United States government pledged to Caribbean countries last year.
The plan was introduced as the regional leaders received an update on the progress made by the CARICOM Ministerial Task Force on Food Production and Food Security (MTF).
This task force will also oversee the mobilization of resources for the project and its implementation.
The lead Head of Government with responsibility for Agriculture and Agriculture Development in the Quasi-Cabinet, Dr. Ali was commended by CARICOM leaders for his leadership on the agri-food systems agenda. His new plan includes the expansion of hydroponics, the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil. This is according to CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of The Bahamas Philip Davis, as he gave an update on the progress made on the CARICOM 25 by 25 initiative, during a press conference on Friday in The Bahamas.
Twenty-five by 25 is the regional pledge by CARICOM heads to increase food security by reducing the regional food importation value by at least 25 percent by 2025.