Written by 9:22 pm Food

FAO and Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources ink deal for Eleuthera digital village development

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — In an effort to help with the transformation of the agri-food systems in The Bahamas, the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs and the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) have signed an agreement for the event of a Digital Territorial Village in Eleuthera.

The village is a hub to create linkages between rural-urban communities for digital innovation ecosystems to drive the support of agribusiness in targeted communities on Eleuthera.

This can be achieved through providing access to apps, e-commerce and other modern technologies used to spice up agriculture development.

(L to R) Under Secretary within the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Bridget Hepburn; Minister Clay Sweeting, FAO Representative Dr. Moreira; and Everlasting Secretary Phedra Turnquest

The initiative is a pilot program that could be a a part of the signing of FAO’s 2022-2026 Country Programming Framework (CPF), which allocated $200,000 in assistance to The Bahamas.

Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting signed the document with FAO Representative Dr Crispim Moreira.

“What is essential about that is that we’ve a working document that may move with the times,” Sweeting said.

“The Digital Village is something that I’m very enthusiastic about because I feel that it’s a technique to bring the Family Islands closer to New Windfall and likewise help with emerging markets to attach not only nationally, but internationally as well.

“We’re enthusiastic about what we’re about to do together and need to proceed to foster this relationship.”

Inside this framework, there’s a commitment to develop mechanisms, instruments and partnerhips to advertise investments and funding to support youth and rural women entrepreneurs.

Moreira noted: “The signing of this instrument collaboration and cooperation is symbolic. It solidifies a commitment between the Government of The Bahamas and FAO to strengthen and further our collaboration.

“It also represents FAO’s legitimate contribution to The Bahamas’ national development,”

“Moreover, this new CPF is aligned with the FAO’s new regional initiatives, and the principles of FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022 – 2031, which concentrate on the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for higher production, higher nutrition, a greater environment – leaving nobody behind.”

The CPF is a tool utilized by the FAO to define its short and medium-term response to the needs of member countries in pursuit of their national development objectives.

It seeks to make sure access to and availability of secure and nutritious food and healthy diets; sustainable and inclusive agri-food systems and agricultural value chain development, to realize prosperous and inclusive societies amongst Family Islands and resilience to climate and economic shocks through sustainable use and management of natural resources.

In September 2020, FAO launched the “1000 Digital Villages Initiative” program that promotes the digitization of services in rural areas.

Over the following 4 years, FAO is predicted to extend its work within the country and strengthen its partnership with various ministries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UN Agencies and other development partners.

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