Written by 4:47 pm Food

Cooper leads delegation to CARICOM Agri-Investment Forum and Expo II

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Creating an progressive and modern agricultural sector and attracting investments to the agri-business sector will top discussions on the second CARICOM Agri-Investment Forum and Expo happening in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, 18 – 21 August.

Within the margins, there will likely be a gathering of the Lead Heads of the Caribbean community to debate Haiti.

“We’re moving within the direction of forward-looking greenhouse technologies and climate-smart agriculture, with the built-in advantage of being sustainable and carbon negative,” said Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.

Cooper will represent the prime minister and lead a delegation including H.E. Winston Pinnock, Bahamas Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to the two-day conference under the theme, “Transforming Agriculture through Innovation and Investment”.

“Our particular focus is on our islands of Andros, Grand Bahama, Abaco, and Eleuthera where the majority of arable land is accessible for agricultural development,” said Cooper, who may even function acting Minister of Agriculture.

In underscoring the Government’s intent to bolster food security, Cooper added that one in all the goals is to develop a chemical-free $430 million AGRIHAVEN in Grand Bahama with cutting-edge technology and infrastructure to turn into a significant wholesale food producer for the region. 

Currently, The Bahamas imports over 90 percent of its food, which translates into roughly $1 billion in spending.

The CARICOM Agri-Investment Forum and Expo was established as a hub for Caribbean member states to network with stakeholders and investors. The inaugural expo took place in Guyana in May of this 12 months.  This second installment is targeted on food and nutrition, agriculture, finance and marketing, trade and investment, and innovation and technology. The forum is strategically designed to facilitate CARICOM member states in achieving the 25 percent by 2025 vision of reducing regional food imports by increasing targeted investments within the agricultural sector regionally. 

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