News Releases

UWI to host a Congress on Sustainable Agri-food Systems

For Release Upon Receipt - November 30, 2008

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus will host a Congress on Sustainable Agri-food Systems in the Tropics from November 30th to December 5th 2008 at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain. The Congress is one of a series of activities which the University is hosting to aid in the restructuring of the agricultural sector in the region. It comes as part of the continuing UWI 60th Anniversary Celebrations. Registration is only US$250 per participant with special rates for UWI staff and students. This event is being co-sponsored by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), the Netherlands and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Barbados.

Among the speakers at the opening ceremony will be the Senator the Honourable Arnold Piggot Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Marine Resources and Dr. Chelston Braithwaite, Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture in Costa Rica.

The recent rise in food prices and the inability of the Caribbean region to effectively respond to such price inflations have created considerable economic instability and hardship within the region. In response, The University of the West Indies has embarked on a series of initiatives to aid in achieving food security within the region. For example, the recent Agritech Expo explored the latest in agricultural technology. The Congress on Sustainable Agrifood Systems will take this one step further by investigating the possibilities of developing regional and international responses to the challenges facing Tropical Agri-food Systems.

The Congress will be held at the Hyatt Regency in two parts. From Monday 1st December to Wednesday 3rd December, an International Conference will be held, which will be devoted to addressing the global challenges facing tropical agriculture and international perspectives. Over the three-day period keynote speakers from the Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Africa, UK, USA and from the Caribbean will be discussing global socio-economic issues, foresighting, innovations in production and post-production technologies, and agricultural education and extension.

The final two days of the Congress will be dedicated to a workshop addressing the issues relating to food security and poverty alleviation in the Caribbean. The workshop will build consensus on the way forward for the Caribbean, which will be submitted to the CARICOM/COTED for discussion.

The Congress on Sustainable Agri-food Systems in the Tropics will yield many new ventures. The proceedings of both the Conference and the Workshop will be published, and a Tropical Agricultural Society will be established with a Board of Directors and a constitution to allow a coordinated response to global challenges. Under this umbrella organisation, sub-regional organisations will be fostered.

For further information on the Congress please contact Mrs. Indira Ousman at 663-1334 Ext. 3903 or email or visit .