Paramaribo, Suriname, December 17, 2020 (IICA). Seven producers, women and youth organizations from various rural zones in Suriname, this week benefitted from the receipt of agricultural inputs, agroprocessing materials, small agricultural equipment and implements to assist their agricultural production activities, in light of the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the agricultural sector and rural communities.
The seven organizations identified for support all share an existing working relationship with IICA, and boast a total membership of approximately 445 members and included the following: Suriname Network of Rural Women Producers (SUNRWP), Suriname Agriculture Forum for Youth (SURAFY), Upper Suriname River Farmers Group, Coronie Beekeepers Association (CIVWW), Weg Naar Zee Sustainable Development Association, Haitian Farmers Cooperative Society, and Bernard Village Women’s Organization.
The initiative was funded under the IICA Director General’s Special COVID-19 Response Fund which seeks to help Caribbean Member States to bolster their food and nutrition security, through direct promotion and assistance to small holders and agroprocessors in the agriculture sector.
The initiative aims to improve short- to medium-term agricultural production and productivity, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictive health measures and the uncertainty in the stability of global food supply chains, to ensure accessibility and availability to nutritious and wholesome food for local populations.
Representatives of the seven beneficiary Organizations gathered at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries for the Official handover ceremony hosted by the IICA Delegation in Suriname. At the ceremony, the IICA Representative in Suriname, Curt Delice, reiterated the Director General of IICA Manuel Otero’s pledge to “stand shoulder to shoulder with member states during this challenging period brought about by the pandemic, and to support the national food and nutrition efforts of the Government and people of Suriname during and inclusive of Post-COVID-19 repositioning of the agricultural sector”.
The Minister of Agriculture, Parmanand Sewdien in his feature address, thanked IICA for its continued support to the Government and the agricultural community in Suriname. He indicated that, “the beneficiary Producer Organizations should fully embrace this kind of support and maximize the potential results they can obtain from it. COVID-19 has demonstrated to us that we need to work hard to lower our food import bill, and grow and utilize more of what we need locally. IICA’s support to our food security efforts also aligns perfectly with our recently launched “Grow What You Eat” campaign, and I am very grateful to IICA for this gesture at this particular time.”
The handover was supported by representatives of the Ministry for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (LVV) of Suriname.