On Wednesday 20th February, 2019, The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) signed a General Technical Cooperation Agreement at CARIRI’s Head Office in St. Augustine.
Cognizant of their key roles and responsibilities in the overall development of the region; this agreement seeks to provide a unique environment for collaborative efforts on agribusiness development, inclusive of value chain and cluster development; food safety; technology transfer; innovative capacity building; data analytics and productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.
Both institutions have a long and mutually beneficial relationship working on many regional projects together and with the formalizing of this relationship, both parties expect to continue and strengthen this affiliation.
Signing the Agreement on behalf of CARIRI, Mr. Meghnath Gosein, Executive Manager – Corporate Services, stated that CARIRI was ready to work with IICA to fast track and promote the agribusiness sector, ‘It is timely and a privilege, since the institutional working relationship has existed for over a decade throughout the Region and hence the Agreement will serve to strengthen this relationship and ensure that it continues for a long time for the benefit of the economy’ he added. Echoing this sentiment, Mr. Gregg Rawlins, IICA’s Representative in Trinidad and Tobago said that “formalizing this association will ensure that more structure is put in place as we move forward and the skills and competencies of both institutions will complement each other, as we work towards strengthening agri MSMEs, not just in Trinidad and Tobago, but in other countries of the Caribbean Region as well’.
CARIRI’s mission is to be a national and regional focal point for technology and innovation, playing a leadership role in providing value added technological solutions to the manufacturing and service sectors, as well as public sector entities, designed to enhance efficiency, competitiveness and visibility, foster new business creation, improve the quality of life and promote sustainable economic development. These services will complement and enhance IICA’s technical cooperation in the areas of Bioeconomy and Production Development, Territorial Development and Family Farming, International Trade and Regional Integration, Climate Change Natural Resources and Management of Production Risks, and Agricultural Health, Safety and Food Quality. With the signing of this Agreement, CARIRI and IICA are well positioned to share and learn from each other as well as to offer technical assistance for the well being of the region.
It is with this in mind that there are plans and discussions for collaborative ventures between both organizations which will ultimately benefit the agricultural sector in the region. Both institutions are looking forward to great, meaningful and practical work that will benefit the agriculture sector in general, and specifically the farmers and agro-processors.