The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Kerrie Symmonds and the President of AGRA, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration and the promotion of food systems transformation in Africa and the Caribbean Community.
The partnership will strengthen cooperation and advocacy in areas of common interest in food systems and climate change adaptation between relevant stakeholders in Barbados and Africa.
The MoU also allows for partnership in knowledge and experience sharing on technology and innovative approaches. These include but are not limited to: last mile delivery of sustainable inputs, value chain models, digital technology and access to finance models.
Additionally, the MoU seeks to promote the mobilization of public and private investments for food systems transformation.
AGRA and the Government of Barbados will work together to develop solutions for increased public and private investments in food systems transformation and the development of innovative finance mechanisms.
AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata said: “With this MoU, we see an opportunity to advance our South to South partnership to include Island States. We will focus on a unified fight against climate change, [and] support to functional food systems that advance the role of trade in feeding the world while minimizing its negative impacts on health and nutrition.”
Furthermore, she said, “we see an opportunity to continue advancing partnerships that promote skills and expertise on both sides.”
The MoU is an opportunity for the Government of Barbados to connect to all 15 countries AGRA is working with across the continent, and to connect with the wider continent through AGRF.
“We are excited about this partnership with the Caricom countries with Barbados as our first direct engagement.”
AGRA shall facilitate exchange of experiences and knowledge between Barbados and African countries where best practices exist, and vice-versa.
Barbados’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kerrie Symmonds, said, “we have made a major step towards improving the food systems in our two regions. The reality is that many African countries share similarities with Barbados, and through this partnership with AGRA, we can now work together to draw on our shared heritage and identifying areas of common interest for knowledge and experience sharing, and advocacy in global and regional platforms to strengthen investments in agri-food systems.”