Growth and stronger food security will be the focus of a new project in Saint Lucia supported by the European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The project entitled “Enhancing the Capacity of Stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to Supply Quality Products in new Markets” will ensure inclusive and sustainable development along the agriculture value chain. CDB’s Vice President of Operations Mr Isaac Solomon stated that, “This exciting new initiative, facilitated through the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building. Mr Anthony Herman, President of Belle Vue Farmers’ Cooperative says the training for farmers and agro processors will be done in conjunction with the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. The project will involve the construction and upgrade of pack houses and the provision of a refrigerated truck to minimize food loss. Young agri-preneur Naila Mangal of Mangal Trading Inc notes that “This project will open new doors not only for me but for other female farmers and exporters. These are the types of projects that we need to push the sector forward”. The European Union’s Project Officer, Mr Sheldon Jackman, explains that the project will deepen access to international markets for products emanating from rural farming communities in St Lucia which in turn will lead to economic empowerment through job creation, particularly for women and youth. The project valued at EC925,862, is being implemented by Export Saint Lucia.
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