Call for national policy on food


REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS have been urged to devise national food and nutrition strategies in order to ensure food security.
Dr Chelston Brathwaite, director emeritus of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), noted that economic conditions “will remain rough” over the next five years as food prices continued to rise and therefore it was about time regional governments refocused their attention on agriculture to guarantee food security and have Caribbean people utilizing more of what they grow.
Brathwaite was delivering the keynote address during the 47th Caribbean Food Crops Society conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre today.
He was speaking on the topic Food Insecurity And Climate Change – Threats to the Sustainable Economic Development in the Caribbean.
“We think that what is needed . . . is a national policy on food and nutrition which guarantees the food supply of the nation,” he said.“You need finance, infrastructure, credit, the environment . . . tourism. It is too complex to be driven by sectoral policy, and that is why much of the agricultural policy in developing countries, and the Caribbean in particular, in my view, has failed, because we have driven it by a sectoral dimension and it cannot be driven by sectoral dimension. It has to be national policy; it has to come from the top,” argued Brathwaite.
He said the time had therefore come to review the “development paradigm” and to begin to look at development in “a holistic way”. (MM)


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