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OECS takes a deeper look into issues affecting rural communities

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis


08 December 2011 – The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States—the OECS—is continuing to place the challenges faced by the rural poor in the sub-region at the front burner of social development agendas.


Head of the Social Policy Unit Darrel Montrope, says  a new definition of 'rural' must be established given new patterns in transportation, communication, and physical planning which in turn should influence rural development policy.


“You think of rural and then you think of agriculture and you think of agriculture then you think of farming and when you think of farming people tend to think so narrowly of bananas. But that is not the case, it is a lot more than that. If you look at rural communities they might have agricultural issues but not everyone leaving in a rural community is a farmer; there are fishers too, and we need to recognize these distinctions.”


Mr. Montrope noted that some OECS territories are visibly taking the evolution of rural communities into consideration at the policy level. There is need, he says, for more scientific data gathering.


“There is recognition by the authorities that work needs to be done. At least were are comforted by that. There are gaps in the data in all of the member states. And data gathering is extremely important for policy making,” Montroppe says.

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