After representing my team at this regional agro-tourism workshop which was excellently organised & facilitated by IICA - Barbados team I must say I no longer consider myself as only a Jamaican ambassador. I am now also a Caribbean ambassador. Being part of this diverse & deeply cultural experience has reminded me of how much we need each other and that working closer together will enable greater successes for each island as well as the region.
This three day experience hosted in Barbados had representatives from mostly eastern Caribbean islands like: Bahamas, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, Dom Rep, Belize & St Kitts, as well as Antigua & Barbuda. FC’s presentation was focused on “ how blockchain technology is helping Caribbean farmers access finance” and within the context of the workshop is was clear that the platform we are creating will not only add value to farmers but also enable opportunities within the community based tourism (CBT) sector as well.
Some of the key features/ presentations of the workshop which had an objective of making suggestions to influence a regional agro-tourism policy included : “Facilitating Financial Transactions re: Trade & Investment for Agrotourism Across the Region’’ by Dr Ram from the CDB, ‘’Promoting Agro-tourism Development in ACP Small Island Developing States by Isolina Boto from CTA Brussels and ‘’Cross-Border Investment in Support of Agro-Tourism Linkages by Rodinald Soomer from Caricom Development Fund.
Our third day featured tours of local CBT spaces in Barbados that are currently offering wonderful experiences. We visited PEG Farms & Nature Reserve who practice biodynamic & permaculture farming with free range animals, this tour also includes a delicious farm to table dining aspect. We also stopped by Adams Aquafarm who has a successful & large scaled model of how to farm tilapia and crayfish. Our activities ended at CoCo Hills Forest, here was the perfect contrast to a busy and packed scheduled, this rainforest of palms,ferns, herbs, fruit trees, trails and lookout points is a truly regenerative spot and treasure.
I’m excited to see how the vision of all the entrepreneurs and representatives that were present unfolds as each person carried with them passion and skills to ignite a new Caribbean where the interest of our people is held as center of the work we do. Can you imagine a united Caribbean? Really working as a region, instead of competing in isolation & limited resources, take a minute and try to. ..It’s possible and I’m so glad FC is part of making this happen.
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