Regional food import bill stuck at US$4 billion

-Mottley wants cross-border investment in agriculture

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Five years and counting…

More than five years after alarm bells were first sounded over the size of the region’s annual food import bill, the yearly cost of bringing in food to the Caribbean – mostly from North America – remains anchored at US$4 billion.

There is no persuasive evidence of any sustained urging from governments in regional capitals that urgent collective measures be taken to reduce the expenditure on foods imported into the region.

In October, following years of pronouncements, plans and stillborn initiatives by her predecessors in the region,  Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley used the opening of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) to issue another reminder to Caribbean governments, not least her own, that despite the preponderance of Caricom-wide consultations and pledges, figures published by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) pointed to the abject failure of the region to put a dent in its staggering food import bill…..

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