by Linda Straker
- Agrotourism policy-setting workshop in Barbados
- Expected outcome is identification of a major regional agrotourism project for 11th EDF envelope
Paula Lewis of Belmont Estate is among regional public and private sector stakeholders who are participating in a regional agrotourism policy-setting workshop that will conclude in Barbados on 11 October 2019.
Jointly hosted by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) the issue of strengthening the linkage between Agri-Food Sector and Tourism in the Caribbean Region is the focus of the initiative.
“Since 2002, IICA has led efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean in Agrotourism and since 2012, CTA and IICA have joined forces in raising awareness on Agrotourism in the Caribbean Region amongst the various chain actors and, importantly, amongst the policymakers,” said a news release from the organisers.
Together, the two international agencies have secured under the Intra-ACP envelope of the 11th EDF, a ‘basket’ of funds in the amount of 35 million Euros for agrotourism development in the Caribbean Region. Six Caribbean countries are already in the process of developing national agrotourism proposals to be considered for funding from this basket.
Participants are discussing regional opportunities for increasing trade of agri-food products, and investment in agribusiness development, particularly in rural communities, in partnership with the tourism sector. The expected outcome of the workshop is the identification of a major regional project on agrotourism which will be submitted for funding under the 11th EDF envelope.
Taking place 9-10 October at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, Barbados, the technical sessions will focus on models for regional production integration and trade of priority food commodities (fresh and processed) required by the tourism/food service sector across the Caribbean, and successful initiatives for the development of unique rural-based attractions that capitalise on the shared heritage and traditions of the member states of the region.
The release said that presentations will be made by practitioners involved in new technologies in agricultural production and fisheries; regional buyers in the hotel, food service and supermarket trade; and from managers of world-class agrotourism tours based in the region.
There is also discussion on support services and capacity development, including successful virtual trading platforms being applied in St Lucia and Jamaica that are benefitting hundreds of farmers and top hotels and a recent Toolkit for Community Based Tourism. Facilitation of financial transactions for trade and investment, application of Blockchain technology in helping young Caribbean agripreneurs access finance, and where to access technical and financial assistance.linda straker, paula lewis, belmont estate, agritourism, inter-american institute for cooperation on agriculture