Caricom food and nutrition in jeopardy

July 24, 2012, St John’s Antigua – Deputy Director of Agriculture Astley Joseph has voiced concerns that trade barriers within Caricom could hamper implementation of the region’s Food and Nutrition Security Policy.

The policy, along with an action plan, was adopted by Caricom in 2010 and 2011 respectively amid fears about the rising cost of food internationally. The Caribbean reportedly imports more than 3 billion US dollars worth of food every year.

Joseph says the kinks, relating to intra-regional trade, must be worked out for the plan to be effective.

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Antigua & Barbuda is developing a national document in line with Caricom’s policy, which focuses on areas such as availability of and access to food, as well as its adequacy and utilisation.

Meanwhile, Joseph says the country is well on the way to achieving a 19-year target to eradicate hunger. Antigua & Barbuda was among countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that committed to having the regions hunger free by 2025.

The deputy director of agriculture says updates are provided annually to the working group monitoring the progress. At the same time, he says specific attention must be paid to the 18 per cent of the population cited in an assessment as living below the poverty line.

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Deputy Director of Agriculture Astley Joseph….