By Alexis R. Milan
A delegation of Agricultural Ministers from the Central American region and the Dominican Republic met in Belize last week to discuss issues affecting agriculture and to formulate a strategic plan, based on collaboration, moving forward.
Belize, in its capacity as pro-tem President of the Central American Agriculture Council (CAAC), hosted the final meeting of CAAC ministers in Placencia and invited the International Regional Organization for Health of Agriculture (CIRSA), headed by Panama, to have their meeting in Belize so as to cut costs and improve coordination between the organizations.
Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Gaspar Vega welcomed delegates last Thursday for the CIRSA meeting.
They discussed and approved an OIRSA strategic ten-year plan, which will get underway in 2015.
The organization also approved regulations to improve the management and transparency of the organization.
OIRSA and the Inter American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) also signed an agreement during the two days of talks to strengthen collaboration efforts between the two key agricultural regulatory bodies.
On Friday the ministers actively engaged in discussions relevant to the Central American Agricultural Council. The ministers reviewed the work of the Council, especially those relating to establishment of the Agriculture Health and Food Safety Working Group, which was formed under Belize’s presidency.
Requests for project funding were also approved for submission to the government of China and other collaborating partners.
The CAAC is composed of the Agricultural Ministers of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. This meeting was the last under Belize’s presidency before Guatemala assumes the role of president next year.