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Jan 18, 2023

Caribbean Development Bank Tackles Food Sovereignty Within the Region

The Caribbean Development Bank (C.D.B.) held its 2023 Annual News Conference today, under the theme ‘Creating the Best Future for the Caribbean’. As a borrowing member state of C.D.B., data on Belize’s economic performance and development goals are captured within the bank’s regional progress report. In his address, Doctor Hyginus Leon, the President of the C.D.B., spoke on the drivers behind regional transformation and the investments needed to advance such change. These include greater access to finance, regional cooperation and integration, transportation, and food security. President Leon emphasized the need for regional food sovereignty as a way to eliminate the negative impacts caused by external shocks, like the increased cost of shipping.


Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon

Dr.  Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon, President, C.D.B.

“Recent global data from the United Nations indicate that the cost of a healthy diet is highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. With the Caribbean currently importing more than eighty percent of the food it consumes, food sovereignty must be a key collective objective. The major challenges facing the region’s agricultural sector includes low productivity, inconsistent output, high vulnerability to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change. The result as I am sure you are all aware of is low competitiveness, limited ability to respond to regional and international market demands, and heavy dependence on imports to meet food and nutrition needs. Therefore, to address this we recommend investing in air and marine transport infrastructure and services to facilitate improved intraregional trade and integration  into global food markets, two designing and supporting the implementation of internationally recognized food safety standards to strengthen market linkages and three increasing investment in appropriate and location specific and climate smart agriculture processes and promoting agricultural insurant to reduce risk posed by climate change and natural hazard events.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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