The Hon. Indar Weir, M.P.
I am honored to welcome all participants from the Region and beyond to the fifteenth Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) which will be held in Barbados from October 8 to 12, 2018.
Throughout its long history, this will be the first occasion that Barbados will be hosting this premier Regional agricultural event. I am therefore particularly excited and buoyed that Barbados’ hosting of the CWA coincides with my ascension to this important office.
The theme for Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2018 is “Strengthening Agriculture for a Healthier Future in the Region.” This theme is most apt in light of the fact that there have been unprecedented levels of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs) globally due to the over consumption of foods devoid of adequate nutrients.
The increased incidence of CNCDs underscores the important nexus between agriculture and health. Moreover, it signals the urgent need for greater commitment among our policymakers for the forging of deeper and more expansive linkages between the agriculture and health sectors.
The Region’s agriculture sector faces numerous challenges which impact on its development, including climate change, disasters, limited access to land and financing and high energy costs. Therefore, it is critical for policymakers to identify opportunities and solutions for the sector’s transformation and sustainable development.
I am confident that CWA 2018 will provide an important platform for sharing experiences, knowledge and ideas and developing novel, bold and exciting strategies for addressing our complex challenges. I look forward to sharing in the camaraderie that will be experienced during the week of activities and to viewing the exhibitions that will be on display during the CWA Marketplace.
I wish you an informative, productive and enjoyable Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2018 as we work together to develop the agriculture sector. I encourage you to take some time out of your busy schedules to savour our culture and to enjoy the warm and friendly Barbadian hospitality.