IICA, CTO sign agreement to boost agriculture in Caribbean tourism

Monday, June 23, 2014

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (CMC) — The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have signed an agreement aimed at strengthening ties between the two sectors and increasing the involvement of Caribbean producers in the region’s tourism industry.
The organizations will endeavor to strengthen the political and institutional frameworks of Caribbean agriculture and tourism in order to facilitate commercial and investment partnerships, and increase the sharing of information, success stories and good business practices.
According to the agreement, the types of tourism in which agriculture and rural areas could play a bigger role are those related to the region’s agro-ecology, cuisine, culture and heritage; as well as activities involving rural communities and health and well-being.
Furthermore, the partners will promote capacity building in value chains, agricultural regions as tourist destinations as part of CTO advertising campaigns, and the preparation of studies to quantify the contributions that agriculture and tourism make to one other.
“Through joint work with the CTO, IICA can make a tangible contribution to efforts to create more opportunities for the development of rural areas and improvement of the living conditions of agricultural producers by working more closely with the tourism industry,” said Ena Harvey, a specialist in agro-tourism and coordinator of IICA’s regional management and integration for the Caribbean.
CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley describes the accord as a win-win relationship.
“Our cuisine is one of our tourism’s most attractive and authentic products, and this partnership can enable visitors to have memorable experiences, increase the economic independence of producers and help reduce the food import bill in the Caribbean”.
The agreement, signed in New York, will be in effect for four years.

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