The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has been commended for hosting the 35th Regional Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
“Thank you for organising this conference in a short time,” Director-General of the FAO, José Graziano da Silva, said at a welcome reception staged by the Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, at the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay on March 6.
The four-day conference, which began on Monday March 5, is an official biennial forum where Ministers of Agriculture and high-level officials of member nations meet to discuss challenges and priority matters related to food and agriculture as a means of ensuring the promotion of regional coherence on global policies and political issues.
Mr. da Silva said the conference is a historical one for the FAO and for Jamaica, which now has the distinction of not only attracting a record number of attendees to an event of this nature, but pulling all of the 33 member states to its shores, a first in the history of the regional organisation. This is a record that no one will take from Jamaica, he said.
The Director-General said he is awed by the general positivity emanating from the Ministry officials, other stakeholders in agriculture as well as the overall Jamaican hospitality.
“I have to say, it is my third time here in Jamaica and I enjoy the country very much, and I enjoy also the way you treat life with optimism… looking forward. So, this is a good moment for the FAO also to learn how to do it, so thank you very much,” Mr. da Silva said.
For his part, Mr. Samuda told the gathering that the success of hosting the conference was due to the synergies among the Ministry staff, other state agencies, the private sector and other entities in Jamaica’s agricultural sector that collaborated to ensure it was executed at a first-class level.
Welcoming the overseas attendees, Mr. Samuda also expressed delight that Jamaica had broken the conference attendance record and told them to “rest assured that everything possible is being done to ensure you return over and over again”.
“When this conference is completed, I am expecting that many of you will return as guests and will enjoy your holidays here and get an opportunity, not only to be exposed to the physical beauty and charm of one of the most beautiful countries on the planet but to interact and meet and greet the beautiful people of Jamaica,” he said.