Caribbean Conference on Education for Rural People: Food Security, Agricultural Competitiveness, Sustainable Livelihoods

Rex St. Lucian
Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, West Indies
18 and 19 May 2006
Press clippings

The Caribbean Conference on Education for Rural People: "Food Security, Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainable Livelihoods" (18- 19 May 2006, Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia) discussed how to foster education and training for people living in rural communities to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs. The conference also discussed how to increase employment and enhance livelihoods in the Caribbean and came up with a communiqué recommending specific actions to be carried out by interested stakeholders.

The conference brought together ministers and senior officials from ministries of agriculture and education in the Region and representatives from non-government organizations, the private sector, universities, international aid and development agencies.

The meeting was organized in collaboration by the Government of Saint Lucia , The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), along with the Italian Development Cooperation, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Development Bank, the Organization for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), and CHF-Partners in Rural Development.

Mr. Martin Satney, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of St. Lucia opened the event. .

Regional FAO/UNESCO ERP workshops and seminars were held so far in Asia (Bangkok, Thailand ,2003, 2004); Latin America (Santiago, Chile 2003,2004) and Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 2005).

The Conference was linked directly to the Caribbean Forum on Lifelong Learning organized by The World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).


Opening Remarks

Key Note Addresses: A Global Partnership to Accelerate Progress towards MDG 1 and 2 through Education for Rural People
Dr. Lavinia Gasperini, Senior Officer, Agricultural Education, Sustainable Development Department, FAO, Rome

Addressing learning needs of rural people : constraints and policy options
Dr. David Atchoarena, Senior Project Analyst, UNESCO - International Institute for Educational Planning, Paris

Conference Rationale, Objectives and the Programme
Dr. Bill Seiders, Senior Extension Education Officer, Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean, FAO, Barbados

Background Presentations:
ERP in the Broader Latin America and Caribbean Region
Ms. Vera Boerger, Education and Communication Officer, FAO, Santiago, Chile
Rurality and Sustainable Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
Mr. Joseph Peltier, Regional Specialist in Sustainable Livelihoods in the Caribbean Rural Development, Inter-American Institute for Barbados
Agricultural Competitiveness and Food Security in the Caribbean
Mr. Gregg Rawlins, Consultant Project Manager, FAO/CARICOM/ CARIFORUM/ Government of Italy, Food Security Project
Agricultural Research and Development in Support of Caribbean Agricultural Research and Education for Rural People
Mrs. Claudette de Freitas, Information Resources Manager, Development Institute (CARDI)

Results of the Working Groups
Current status of Poverty, Food Security, (MDG1), Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Caribbean: Implications for Education and Training

Current status of Access, Quality and Capacity Issues Related to ERP (MDG 2) in the Caribbean

Good Practices and Lessons Learned
IICA's Experience: Education and Training for Rural People in the Caribbean
Ms. Una May Gordon, IICA Representative in the Eastern Caribbean States
Caribbean Integrated School Gardening Initiative
Dr. Carmen Dardano, Food and Nutrition Officer, FAO Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean, Barbados
Skills Training through the Adult Education Association of Guyana and Capacity Building among HIV/AIDS Communities in Guyana
Ms. Vanessa Thompson and Ms. Jean Lowry, Country Director, CHF - Partners in Rural Development
Education for Sustainable Development and Education for Rural People in the Caribbean
Ms. Ushio Miura, UNESCO Office for the Caribbean with Mr. Santosh Khatri, UNESCO, Paris.
Skill Enhancement for the New Workforce with Implications for Rural Populations in the Caribbean
Ms. Maxine Harris, Caribbean Forum for Development managed by the Caribbean Development Bank
Youth and Agriculture
Calvin James, Youth Researcher, Food, Nutrition and Agricultural Development, Trinidad and Tobago
Promoting CARICOM/CARIFORUM Food Security

National Strategies - Country-specific Group Work
National strategies and commitments for strengthening education for rural people in each participant country of the Caribbean:
Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kits & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia (host country)

Communiqué on ERP in the Caribbean