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Moving Towards an OECS Chamber of Agriculture

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 – A recommendation from OECS Ministers of Agriculture, that the Secretariat develops an OECS Chamber of Agriculture has moved a step forward, with the hosting of a one-day meeting at its Headquarters on Wednesday August 11, 2004.

President of the Martinique Chamber of Agriculture, who was at the meeting, shared his organisation’s success story with representatives of stakeholder groups in St. Lucia.

The OECS Agriculture Ministers had mandated that the OECS Chamber be comprised of National Chapters in each Member State. The Ministers suggested that the Martinique experience could guide decisions on the Chapters’ structure, operations and services.

The Martinique Chamber of Agriculture is made up of ten sections; Farmers, Retired Farmers, Cooperatives, Credit establishments, Insurance companies, wage earners (who work the land but don’t earn it, wage earners as a group, land owner, and Trade Union representatives.

The St. Lucia meeting was attended by representatives of the St. Lucia Agricultural Society, the Marketing Board, the Chamber of Commerce, the Minister of Agriculture, and the President of the Caribbean Agricultural Business Association (CABA).

The meeting heard that St. Lucia had already started to move towards creating its Chamber of Agriculture. The St. Lucia Agricultural Association (SLAA) is taking the lead in this exercise with support from the Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR). Their consultants are currently looking at various models in consultation with the OECS Secretariat.

Wednesday’s meeting was coordinated by the Secretariat’s Agricultural Economist, Mr. George Alcee. He was supported by Senior Economist, Dr. Wayne Sandiford and Greg Rawlins, the Trade Specialist assigned to the Secretariat by the FAO to execute the “Promoting CARIFORUM/CARICOM Food Security project.



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