We at ECTAD CARIBBEAN have been monitoring the food prices and markets; we are also working with our farmers to make realistic production decisions to link into the circumstances of the new emerging market trends.
We are calling on Governments and traditional private sectors, such as banks, to make an insignificant investment with farmers to help build a more sustainable food security and a market system, especially in such crisis times. We are also monitoring the circumstances of border closure supply chain interruption, and its interruption of shipping and trade.
Farmers and key players in the Agriculture food sector are being called on to provide the healthy foods and herbs to help our population and strengthen their immune system which would help fight COVID-19 and other viruses to come.
While the agri-food system must play its part, we must also be mindful of disruption of transportation, quarantine restrictions and interruptions in the general supply chain that can result in loss of profit, food loss and waste.
We are encouraging our governments not to make policies out of panic, but to monitor prices to protect farmers and consumers, support our local farmers in the local production of key healthy nutritious foods for both our local, regional and overseas markets.
Good smooth trade will be important to cushion some of the projected negative economic impacts that we can see coming from this crisis. We also want the population to play their part in food security. With time at home, they can turn their back yards and old containers into vegetable gardens, planting simple fruit trees, short term crops, which would be good healthy exercise while providing some of your own healthy foods. GET THE WHOLE FAMILY INVOLVED.
The responsibility of a food system and food security cannot just be farmers but everyone. Over the last six months, ECTAD has been working on a special regional project with its key partners, under the theme “Linking our Agriculture to Nutrition, Food Security, Health and Employment”. The aim is to support small farmers /small farm families in the production of nutritious fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs to strengthen and protect health while earning sustained profitable income.
This effort links positively into some positive health solutions, as we promote healthy nutritious foods. We are presently looking for partners and funding to expand implementation.
It is highly recommended that we eat a healthy and nutritious diet, which helps boost our immune system to function properly, in fighting diseases like COVID-19. We would be calling on our partners to work with us in building a resilient food system to ensure that we have a strong production and marketing systems.
Our farmers are ready, we promote safety and advise that they utilize all the relevant information from the Ministry of Health to protect themselves. We encourage our farmers to do what they can in safely to ensure that we make our rightful contribution and be reflected as part of a solution. This is an opportunity to put our farmers and our agriculture food system at the top of the priority list and create strong public-private sector partnerships to support and sustain it.
Our farmers anticipate resuming our overseas marketing of roots and tubers to Europe in the next few weeks, while we continue to bolster our local and regional markets in partnership with our governments and other partners.