Seated (L-R): H.E. Ambassador Tome Lee; Deputy Secretary-General of Taiwan ICDF, Mr. Alex Shyy; Agriculture Economist and representative of IICA, Mr. Gregg Rawlins; Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Eugene Hamilton.

The technical cooperation agreement between the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in the Eastern Caribbean States and the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) will serve to improve agriculture, agro-processing and rural development in the Federation, Agriculture Economist and Representative of the IICA Gregg Rawlins, and Deputy Secretary General of Taiwan ICDF  Alex Shyy agreed during the signing ceremony for the  General Technical Agreement between IICA and ICDF Tuesday, Aug. 13. 

Rawlins said that the agreement will “reduce hunger and poverty in the Federation and enhance agricultural production and productivity” while Shyy enhanced his point by saying that the agreement will help in boosting “boosting socio-economic developments”. 

Rawlins said that there is the need to fully exploit the untapped potential in the Federation for developing agri-businesses based on local production, processing and marketing, and to utilize “the emerging and evolving role of technology transfer and innovation in developing agri-food systems” and highlighted the ICDF’s and IICA’s longstanding informal relationship in agro-processing, soil testing, pesticide residue in crops, green house technology and building resilience in the face of climate change.

Rawlins also listed an example of cooperation between the two parties, noting IICA was working on a project to enhance the utilization of mango in the Federation and was provided with a walk-in freezer by ICDF as it was necessary to ensure the success of the project.

“This agreement will pave the way for strengthened cooperation and the joint execution of projects which seek to strengthen the capacity of producers and marketers in St. Kitts and Nevis and ultimately contribute to an increased contribution by the agri-food sector to the national economy and rural livelihoods in the Federation,” Rawlins said.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Shyy and Mr. Rawlins, and witnessed by His Excellency Tom Lee, Ambassador of The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Eugene Hamilton.