Regional countries urged to do more for agriculture

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, May 12, CMC – Former Guyana president Bharrat Jagdeo Monday blamed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders for not doing enough to deal with the declining agricultural production in the region as well as the impact of climate change.

Former Guyana president Bharrat Jagdeo (File Photo)

Addressing the launch of the Faculties of Food and Agriculture and Science and Technology at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies, Jagdeo, who once had a regional agricultural plan named after him, said only three CARICOM countries have agriculture contributing more than 10 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP).

The Caribbean has a food import bill of four billion US dollars and Jagdeo noted also there was a decline in the budgetary allocation for agriculture in regional countries and that employment opportunities in the sector had also declined.

Jagdeo told the launch,  clearly something must be wrong if there can be much academic success and achievement at the university and not get  the policy makers to focus on the issue, adding that something must be done urgently to give agriculture the priority it needs.

“There isn’t a sense of urgency and that is what we need today, a sense of urgency among our policy makers.