On Monday, June 12th 2023, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) held its Annual Accountability Seminar (AAS) at the Frenches House Conference Room.
The seminar was facilitated by IICA’s Technical Specialist, Mr. Michael Dalton. The AAS allows IICA to present stakeholders with an update on its activities in support of agricultural and rural development in the country. It is a critical component of the international accountability culture to national authorities, stakeholder organizations, groups and individuals.
Mrs. Nerissa Gittens-McMillian
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, Mrs. Nerissa Gittens-McMillian regarded the meeting as a celebration of the successful partnership maintained with IICA over the years. Recognizing the remarkable quality and quantity of IICA's work, the permanent secretary thanked the institute for their support during the agricultural sector's most challenging periods.
According to IICA’s Representative in the Eastern Caribbean States, Mr. Gregg Rawlins, IICA has embraced accountability as one of its core values in seeking to strengthen the positioning of the Institute. As a result, the accountability process is a critical component of the Institute's integrated management system. He added that the accountability seminar serves three (3) primary functions:
- It allows IICA to report on the achievements over the last year and plans for the future.
- It provides an opportunity for stakeholders to be fully sensitized to all activities and programs of work, which allows for the exploration of possible collaboration with other entities.
- It creates a forum for stakeholders to share their views and feedback on the work completed.
Acknowledging the adverse effects of several world and local events that have significantly impacted Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’s agri-food systems, Mr. Rawlins emphasized the need to take measures and procedures to ensure food security during times of significant global dislocation. In light of this “The decision of CARICOM Heads to establish a target to reduce the region's food import bill by 25% by 2025 is an important and positive step in seeking to achieve greater food self-reliance which IICA fully supports” Mr. Rawlins said.
Mr. Gregg Rawlins
He also recognized the leadership role that Sand Vincent and the Grenadines has assumed in its capacity as pro-temporary chair of the community of Latin America and Caribbean states (CELAC) and pledged IICA’s unwavering support to the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as it advances the CELAC agenda for food and nutrition security.
He thanked all partners inclusive of the Ministry of Agriculture, CARDI and the FAO for joining the quest to support the development of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’s agricultural sector.
Mr. Rawlins reaffirmed IICA's commitment to working with all agricultural and rural stakeholders to promote sustainable agricultural development, food security, and rural prosperity in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Hon Saboto Caesar
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, Hon Saboto Caesar acknowledged the efforts of IICA as the institution has played an outstanding role in the progress of the agricultural sector and hoped for their ongoing support.
Various beneficiaries were in attendance and were given the opportunity to express their gratitude and share how IICA’s initiatives have impacted their lives and livelihoods.
SOURCE: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour