IDB to support cassava production in Jamaica and small-scale fisheries in Honduras
MONTEGO BAY - President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, Luis Moreno, officially signed technical cooperation agreements to support two important projects in the region – one that will enhance local cassava production in Jamaica and another to boost competitiveness for small-scale fisheries in Honduras.
The signing took place at a special event during Foromic 2016, Latin America and the Caribbean’s most important conference on microfinance and entrepreneurship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on October 24.
The first technical cooperation issued to the Desnoes and Geddes Foundation to support Red Stripe’s Project Grow was valued at over US$814,000. The objective of this project is to improve the livelihood of small and medium-scale cassava farmers while developing a climate-smart agricultural system, and generate sustainable employment opportunities for vulnerable youth in Jamaica.
The project also aims to enhance the capacity of small and medium-scale producers to supply quality cassava to commercial buyers such as Red Stripe. Red Stripe managing director Ricardo Nuncio said that the project is extremely important because “it has huge potential for us to substitute 40% of that imported material which is high maltose corn syrup with locally grown cassava. This will generate close to 3,000 jobs by year four (2020).”
The company currently substitutes ten percent of its imported raw material with cassava.
The technical cooperation will also facilitate training that will be conducted on Red Stripe farms, in collaboration with technical experts at the Center for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Red Stripe will provide secure market access through buyer commitment and price stability, in the form of three-year purchasing contracts with eligible small and medium-sized farms.
The second grant awarded to Asociación Goal Internacional includes technical assistance resources from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and reimbursable funds for a Mutual Guarantee Fund from Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) resources to encourage financial support for small-scale fisheries. With a combined value of over US$5.5 million, the project objective is to boost competitiveness of artisanal fishing companies and organizations to ensure economic sustainability and environmental responsibility, preserving the mangrove ecosystem and increasing resilience to climate change in Honduras.
“The technical cooperation is extremely important. We have done a lot of work over the years looking to develop small scale fisheries, we have done a lot of investigation on the market system, a lot of studies on the marine coastal environment and we’ve identified this as a critical intervention for sustainable economic development in the north coast of Honduras,” explained director, Asociación Goal Internacional, Bernard McCaul.
Moreno expressed optimism about both projects, which it is hoped will contribute to sustainable growth and development in both countries while supporting small to medium-scale producers.