The OECS priorities for Agriculture are informed by the Revised Agriculture Plan of Action, the Food and Nutrition Security Policies and Action Plans developed for OECS Member States and the mandates given by the OECS Ministers of Agriculture.
For improved governance for the implementation of the OECS Agriculture Plan of Action and national food and nutrition security policies and action plans, the OECS Commission has put together a Regional Task Force to follow up on the agreed approaches to implementation. The Task Force which is chaired by the OECS Commission comprises FAO, CARDI, IICA, WINFRESH, CARICOM and two OECS Member States: the Commonwealth of Dominica and Saint Lucia.
In keeping with the Key Priorities of the OECS Agriculture Plan of Action, the main thrust of the OECS Agriculture Desk includes:
- Transformation of agriculture through the promotion of and support to viable private sector initiatives, targeting markets for non-traditional exports and in the process raise average wage levels;
- Alleviation of poverty and reduction of food insecurity through policy and incentive regimes that transition semi-commercial rural populations out of poverty and vulnerability to poverty;
- Development and promotion of agro-tourism services and the establishment of criteria to identify, appraise, evaluate and develop and improve competitiveness of agro-tourism goods and services;
- Adoption of a strategic approach to establishing synergies with the wider CARICOM/CSMR process;
- Formulation and implementation of a resource mobilization, investment and financing strategy for the OECS Agriculture Plan and Programme;
- Developing programmes to secure long term access to water for irrigation and supply chain activities; and
- Development, promotion and support to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
About the Author: George Alcee holds an MSC in Agricultural Economics and a First Degree in Agriculture Business Management. He also holds a graduate diploma in Agriculture Extension and Rural Development and a Diploma in General Agriculture. George is employed at the Commission as the Programme Officer, Agriculture in the Economic Development Policy Unit.