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Carib Week of Agriculture

Cayman: Ministry’s Commitment to National Food and Nutrition Policy Emphasized at the 17th Caribbean Week of Agriculture

Nassau, Bahamas – 11 October, 2023 – The Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure of the Cayman Islands, under the guidance of Honourable Minister, Johany “Jay” Ebanks, is proud to spotlight its unwavering commitment to the Cayman Islands National Food and Nutrition Security Policy (CINFS) as it participates in the 17th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA)<> in Nassau, Bahamas.

Representing our commitment at this prestigious event are the Ministry’s Chief Officer, Mr. Eric Bush, and the Acting Director of Agriculture, Mr. Brian Crichlow.

This esteemed event gathers prominent organizations and delegates, such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), , the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), The Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAFSA) the Caribbean Agri-business Association (CASPA) the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), and various regional and international organisations and Universities.  Together, they aim to exchange pivotal insights on the latest advancements, innovations, and best practices in the agricultural realm. This gathering takes on added significance considering the Caribbean’s challenge of contending with the world’s highest prices for nutritious foods.

The Caribbean’s considerable reliance on imports, constituting nearly 90% of its food consumption, is a pressing concern. In response, the region, unified in purpose, has initiated the “25 by 2025” strategy, led by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). This strategy endeavours to achieve a 25% reduction in food import dependency by 2025.

Chief Officer, Mr. Eric Bush remarked, “It’s an honour to represent the Cayman Islands at this pivotal event. Our commitment to the ’25 by 2025′ initiative reflects our dedication to food security and sustainability. As leaders from across the Caribbean converge to discuss and mitigate the pressing agricultural issues of our region, I am confident that the collective vision and collaboration will pave the way for a more resilient and food-secure future. The theme ‘Accelerating Vision 25 by 2025’ resonates deeply with our aspirations.”

Agriculture stands as the cornerstone of our vision for regional food security and sustainability. Our Ministry is LEADing a multifaceted approach, emphasizing both comprehensive strategic measures through the Cayman Islands Food and Nutrition Security Policy and specific initiatives. Key among these are the “National Egg Strategy,” (NEST;  National Livestock Development Programme expansion, a comprehensive “Land-Use License Policy,” the Cayman Islands  Agricultural Business Information System (CI-ABIS) enhanced farmer extension and training the “Flex Farms” promotion in conjunction with the “Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator Programme”, the “National School Garden Programme,” and the modernisation of key legislation, of which are pleased to have the Parliament pass the “Plant Protection Act 2023”.

Key Outcomes Expected:

  *   Strengthened Collaborative Ties: Enhanced cooperation and collaboration between Caribbean countries and international agricultural bodies.

  *   Knowledge Exchange: Sharing of best practices, statistical data, innovations, and emerging trends in agriculture, including key research in improved crop and forage varieties and production systems.

  *   Policy Direction: Gaining insights to further refine and enhance our National Food and Nutrition Security Policy.

  *   Strategic Partnerships: Establishing new partnerships and strengthening existing ones, particularly focusing on sustainable and climate-smart agricultural practices.

  *   Community Engagement: Fostering a sense of community involvement and understanding of the importance of local agriculture. Enhancing intra-regional trade in agricultural commodities and the safe movement of critical germplasm for establishment of enhanced crop varieties.

  *   Education and Communication: Elevating awareness and understanding of the significance of healthy eating, and fostering a transformative change in societal mindsets towards nutrition.  Advancing Agricultural Sciences into the educational forefront, demonstrating the benefits of incorporating into school curriculums at primary school level.

Our comprehensive plans and policies, coupled with these initiatives, underscore the Ministry’s proactive approach to transform the agricultural landscape of the Cayman Islands, champion local food production, and guarantee a sustainable and food-secure future.

Chief Officer, Mr. Eric Bush joined by Acting Director of Agriculture, Mr. Brian Crichlow, emphasized; “By engaging with the opportunities the CWA offers, we aim to incorporate global expertise, recognize international trends, and refine our strategies for the benefit of the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean at large.”

In conclusion, the Ministry remains steadfast in its commitment to continue “LEADing” the modernisations of the agricultural sector of the Cayman Islands, supporting the overarching vision of a nutritionally secure and environmentally sustainable Caribbean.


See also below:


Questions to both Chief Officer, Mr. Eric Bush and Acting Director, Mr. Brian Crichlow. (with audio)

 For the Chief Officer, Mr. Eric Bush:


“Mr. Bush, you mentioned the ’25 by 2025′ initiative and its resonance with the aspirations of the Cayman Islands. Given the current agricultural landscape and the challenges posed by global food prices, how does the Ministry plan to fast-track its efforts to meet the ambitious targets set by this initiative, especially considering the Caribbean Week of Agriculture theme ‘Accelerating Vision 25 by 2025’?”

Chief Officer, Mr. Eric Bush Response: (In 2 parts – 2x Audio files for this response)

“The ’25 by 2025′ initiative is indeed ambitious, but it is this ambition that drives our dedication. To fast-track our efforts, the Ministry is investing in technology and modern agricultural practices. We’re also focusing on expanding local agricultural education and outreach, ensuring our farmers and agriculturists are equipped with the latest knowledge and tools.” (audio file 1)

“Collaborations with international agricultural bodies, as seen during the CWA, will play a crucial role. Additionally, the Cayman Islands Food and Nutrition Security Policy (CINFS) acts as our roadmap, guiding our efforts in ensuring food security for the Cayman Islands. Every initiative, partnership, and policy change are strategically aligned to ensure we’re accelerating our progress toward the ’25 by 2025′ goal.” (audio file 2)

For the Acting Director of Agriculture, Mr. Brian Crichlow:


 “Mr. Crichlow, the press release highlights several key initiatives, including the ‘Plant Protection Act 2023’ just recently passed, and the ‘National Egg Strategy’, (NEST) Can you provide insights into how these specific measures will be instrumental in reshaping the agricultural sector of the Cayman Islands and ensuring a reduction in our dependency on food imports?”

Acting Director of Agriculture, Mr. Brian Crichlow Response: (In 2 parts – 2x Audio files for this response) “The ‘Plant Protection Act 2023’ is designed to safeguard our critical agricultural sector, cultivated and native plant species against the introduction and establishment of pest and disease that could cause significant damage to local crop production and negatively impact our critical ecosystems. As for the ‘National Egg Strategy’ (NEST), its goal is to boost local egg production, ensuring a consistent and high-quality supply for our residents. This reduces the need for imports, supports local farmers, enhances farm incomes and guarantees fresher quality product for our community. Both these measures, along with other initiatives targeted at the wider community like promoting ‘Flex Farms’ and the ‘National School Garden Programme’, are steps towards empowering small-scale producers, backyard gardeners and our youth to make the Cayman Islands more self-reliant in terms of food production and reducing our dependency on imports. We believe that by strengthening our local agricultural infrastructure and providing the necessary support to our farmers, we can significantly reduce our dependency on food imports.”



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