Brussels, 17 June 2020/OACPS: The Caribbean Region highlighted the importance of working with local organisations during an Information Dissemination Event for the Caribbean Region, on the Farmers’ Organisation for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (FO4ACP) Programme and the Agri–Business Capital (ABC) Fund, hosted by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Information Dissemination Event was a follow up to the request for more information on the two initiatives in the Region, during the Programme Steering Committee Meeting for the FO4ACP and the ABC Fund on May 7.

The high turnout for the virtual event from a wide cross-section of OACPS Caribbean States, indicated the interest in the two programmes. Besides highlighting the importance of using and working with local organisations, participants called for a follow-up meeting to explore using experts from the region, who would have a more comprehensive grasp of the local issues.

Recognising the premium placed by the Caribbean States on agriculture, and that there are parts of the region that are adept in supporting food sufficiency for the region, the Information Dissemination Event called for greater sensitivity to the particularities of the region and the need to alter the approach adopted in Africa and the Pacific.

Agricord and the Caribbean Regional Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are the first two organisations to be selected to coordinate the implementation of the FO4ACP’ Programme in the region following the call for proposals in 2019. The ABC Fund was launched by IFAD, along with the EU, the OACPS, the government of Luxembourg and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to help rural entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector access the necessary finance for business growth and job creation for poor, rural people, in particular for the youth. It aims to generate private sector investment in rural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), farmers’ organizations and smallholder farmers’ groups which often find it hard to secure finance from traditional institutions who view them as too risky.

The Farmers’ Organisation Programme is a capacity-building programme aimed at increasing income and improving livelihood of farmers. The two Initiatives are supported by resources from the Intra-ACP Funds under the European Development Fund (EDF).

Photo: © FAO

See also: OACPS Programme Steering Committee calls for the Agri-Business Capital Fund to expand to the Caribbean and Pacific regions