Signatories to the Agreement proudly displaying the signed documents. (Credits: IICA ECS, Facebook)

Saint Lucia looks to improve agricultural sector with ICDF and IICA 

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Castries, Saint Lucia: Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation of Agriculture (IICA) have signed a general technical cooperation agreement to improve Saint Lucia’s agriculture sector.

This four-year agreement aims to promote a safer and more sustainable food and agricultural system, which will enhance Saint Lucia’s agriculture, rural development and agro-processing capacity.

The signing ceremony was held on Friday, November 3, 2923, at Harbor Club in Rodney Bay, Gros Islet.

The agreement was signed by the following representatives,

– Dr Charles Chao-Leng Li, H.E Ambassador

– Secretary-General of Taiwan ICDF

– IICA Representative in the Eastern Caribbean states

– Mr Gregg Rawlins

Representatives who witnessed the signing were,

– H.E Peter Chia-Yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia

– Alfred Prospere, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development

Ambassador Chen extended his gratitude as the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) under Taiwan ICDF has been searching for an opportunity over the past few years to work with different partners.

Glimpses of the Meeting. (Credits: Youth Economy Agency Saint Lucia, Facebook)
Glimpses of the Meeting. (Credits: Youth Economy Agency Saint Lucia, Facebook)

They extended their support in order to coordinate the resources and explore the most advantageous and effective cooperation in Saint Lucia.

He further added that among all these partners, IICA is one of the leading and well-experienced organizations that we have been working in the field of agriculture.

Notably, in Saint Lucia, work on general technical cooperation and good agricultural practices for composting capacity building is in progress.

Ambassador Chen stated that last year, Taiwan expanded its cooperation to help build the capacity of youth and women to produce mushrooms and hoped to empower them to become financially independent.

It is considered a remarkable milestone that Taiwan ICDF signed an agreement with IICA, especially when they are in recognition of IICA’s 40-year anniversary.

The agreement represented yet another key milestone in the fertile partnership between Taiwan ICDF and IICA and exemplified their united commitment to deeper cooperation.

Dr Li extended his views on the work of both nations to promote economic development and strengthen livelihoods in Latin America and the Caribbean regions.

Taiwan, as the official development aid agency, expressed its pleasure in standing shoulder to shoulder with IICA. Their partnership is likely to address the following,

  • Agriculture value chains
  • Climate change
  • Smart governance
  • Food security

IICA’s Contribution to Caribbean Nations

Since 2006, IICA has collaborated with the Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala and Haiti.

They contributed to holding seminars and exchanges on a wide range of technical areas that are integral to sustainable development and had various professional training sessions.

Notably, in 2019, both organizations determined to build a stronger and more effective partnership, and for this reason, they signed the first inter-organizational MoU.

Dr Li added that they hoped this MoU would facilitate not only the exchange of our best practices between Taiwan ICDF and IICA but also empower the existing cooperation models and open new paths of collaboration in the future.

Through this MoU, they can better understand the challenges that have occurred in the region and can initiate constructive, practical, and innovative solutions to build a strong foundation for a long-term and extended partnership in Latin American and Caribbean regions.

Recently, in this year, both organizations collaborated on a project named “Where Women Bloom” that saw 25 women across Saint Lucia receive comprehensive training in small-scale commercial mushroom production.

Like many other countries, Saint Lucia also faces an array of challenges in the agricultural sector, such as,

  • Resource constraints
  • Evolving consumer preferences
  • Climate change impacts
  • Market access

However, through this partnership, not only Saint Lucia but other Caribbean nations can address these challenges and drive forward to the sustainable development of agriculture and improve the lifestyle and livelihood of its citizens.