A & B gets technical assistance in the area of agriculture

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Antigua & Barbuda has turned to Cuba for help in implementing a two-year National Food Security Action Plan designed to re-position the country’s agriculture sector.
The action plan addresses the nutritional requirements of Antiguans & Barbudans and trade arrangements with respect to importing and exporting food.
An 11-member delegation from Cuba, arrived on island last weekend and will spend the next two weeks working closely within the ministry of agriculture  to provide technical advice.
The key areas of focus for the ministry will be the eradication of the Giant African Snail; revitalisation of the poultry production sector; revitalisation of pork and mutton production.
Director of Agriculture Jedidiah Maxim said the Cuban team will also be conducting an assessment of the programmes and initiatives that are already in place at the ministry.
Speaking during an official ceremony yesterday at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre to welcome the Cuban team, Maxim said that following the sessions, “we will be in a better position to determine to what extent the Cubans will be able to assist us”.
“Some members of the delegation are agronomists and agriculture engineers. Cuba is already doing things which could increase efficiency here in Antigua,” Maxim said.
Speaking at the same forum, Agriculture Minister Arthur Nibbs also stressed that the relocation and upgrading of the abbatoir and increasing national capacity for post-harvest management and storage of food will also be prioritised.
Minister Nibbs said the ministry lacked the human resources to get the job done, hence the decision to partner with Cuba to achieve the ministry’s goal.
He said this is also in keeping with a two-year mandate given by Prime Minister Gaston Browne for improvement within the sector.
“A country is not really independent until one can feed oneself, so that is what we are aiming at in agriculture. To revitalise and re-energise the sector so that we can take care of ourselves and hope from time to time whatever extras we produce we can also export,” Minister Nibbs said.
The visit by the delegation came two months after  ministry officials visited Cuba to observe the country’s agricultural programme.

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