The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) inked an agreement in Miami on Thursday April 25, 2017, to cooperate in the promotion of agriculture, science and technology, research and development, training, entrepreneurial ventures, and other areas that support the mutual benefit to both institutions.
The agreement which is an outcome of ICS' "Farm the Future" programming will run for three years and will, among other things, seek to establish a strategic partnership in the promotion of sustainable agricultural development in the Region, the sharing of knowledge and expertise, and the creation of opportunities for increased growth and prosperity.
Areas of cooperation under the MOU will include the joint branding and hosting of events, technical meetings and conferences towards the development of agricultural capacity in CARICOM countries. The articulation of a Food Security Vision 2030 for the Region and the creation of a Common Framework that takes into account an innovation strategy to promote the application of technology and climate-smart agriculture in the region are also expected to be considered under the program.
The pursuit of joint initiatives, including bids and proposals submission, entrepreneurial ventures, mobilization of technical & financial resources, and policy development initiatives are also expected to be included under the arrangement. Activities under the program will be developed by a working group that will be tasked with the responsibility of identifying specific areas for collaboration.
The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute is an Institution of CARICOM and is named in Article 4 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community, including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. It is positioned to "enhance the socio-economic well-being of the Caribbean people through Research for Development that improves the competitiveness and sustainability of regional agriculture."
The Institute of Caribbean Studies is a Washington DC diaspora-led think-do tank, dedicated to building bridges between the Caribbean, Caribbean Americans and the US population at large. Together with partner organizations from industry, government and civil society, its goal is to accelerate the investment of Caribbean diaspora, mentor relationship and financial capital in order to promote inclusive and sustainable growth in the Caribbean Region.
Signing on behalf of CARDI was Executive Director, Barton Clark who emphasized the need for regional approaches and highlighted the role the Diaspora can play in helping to find solutions to problems in the sector. Ms. Roxanne Valies, a member of the Board of Directors of ICS, who signed on behalf of that institution, noted that the MOU will go a far way in advancing the work of ICS in promoting the growth of the agri-business value chain in the region.