News Releases

UWI Principal commends Caribbean Food Crops Society on 51 years of work in regional agriculture

For Release Upon Receipt - August 20, 2015

St. Augustine

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat, applauded the Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS) for over five decades of annual meetings which provide a unique forum for the examination of Caribbean agricultural policies, systems, practices, and institutions in the region and beyond. Professor Sankat delivered opening remarks at the 51st CFCS Annual Meeting in held recently in Paramaribo, Suriname. Themed Food Safety, Innovation and Quality in Green Agriculture: The Way Forward to Food Security for the Caribbean, the meeting took place from July 19-24 at the Royal Ballroom, Hotel Torarica in Paramaribo.

The Campus Principal, who has been a member of the CFCS for over 30 years, conveyed the immense benefits of the forum, which he said provides opportunities for young researchers across the region to share new ideas that can help to strengthen the agricultural-food chain. Professor Sankat also shared that the meeting gives young researchers a chance network and learn more about Caribbean agriculture, its problems and possibilities. This year’s meeting, which included delegates from not only in the region but also parts of Europe, provided science researchers, farmers and other stakeholders the opportunity to exchange information on research and technology.

The CFCS, a non-governmental regional organization, aims to advance and foster Caribbean food production, processing and distribution in all aspects to help improve the quality of life for the people of the Caribbean. It brings together scholars, researchers, extensionists, growers, and other professionals associated with food production, distribution, and policy. It seeks to involve members from all four main language groups of the region (English, Spanish, French, and Dutch). Each year, the society convenes an annual meeting at a different location in the region to highlight the areas most relevant to the particular country/territory in which the meeting is held.

Professor Sankat also used the forum to underscore the importance of Food Safety, Nutrition and Health; the ecological impact of our Agricultural/Food Production Systems and Sustainability; the importance of utilizing technology and innovation in Food Production processes and practices; the need for investment in research and development; the socio-economic conditions of our countries of the region and the role of food and agriculture in building robust, balanced and prosperous, self-fulfilling societies.

For more information on the work of the CFCS, visit the website at



About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)