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Jan 22, 2015

Stakeholders Focus on Agribusiness Development

Linking Farmers to Tourism…the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, better known as IICA, is getting more involved in the development of the agro-productive sector in Belize. Today, at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City, both public and private sector stakeholders came together to identify potential market linkages for agribusiness development focusing primarily on tourism. The goal is to provide the booming tourism industry with the quality products available from the agro-processors locally while still meeting the demands of the international markets. The organization believes that the collaboration between both industries can provide economic opportunities, growth in rural communities and improve sustainable development in both sectors. News Five spoke today with IICA Representative Jean Lowry who says the event also looks at the inclusion of youth and women in the agro-processing sector.

 

Jean Lowry, Representative, IICA

“We are trying to come up with a balance and some strategies and some clarity on where we should be putting our efforts as an institution and as an organization and we have to focus and this is about focusing.”

 

Reporter

Jean Lowry

“You guys also mentioned that the main focus will be women and youth as well—merging them or including them into the discussion. Tell us a more about the importance of that.”

 

Jean Lowry

“Absolutely, I’m very passionate about that. When you start looking at the agricultural sector in general, a large percentage of the people involved in that are men so we are very supportive of what they are doing. But I believe that when you come to the agro-processing sector and into the tourism sector that there are very many opportunities for youth and women. And I think those sectors we need to better understand how they can get themselves into those areas. So one of the objectives of this particular event is to find that clarity, but to also find what commodities and opportunities are there to best suit the needs of the youth and women. They have different access issues, they have different financing issues; they have all sorts of issues which are very difficult to get around, but we have to figure out where to start. And this is what this is about.”

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