June 12, 2009
WINFA 6th Biennial General Assembly concludes

The Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) last weekend concluded its Sixth Biennial General Assembly, held in Kingstown, St. Vincent, over the 3-day period, June 4-6, 2009.{{more}} Highlights of the Assembly were the adoption of a new Strategic Plan, a relevant structure to facilitate the operation of the organization in a new dynamic environment, and a framework for the development of a Regional Food Sovereignty Programme.

The Assembly began with the hosting of a Welcome Reception on Thursday, June 4, under the distinguished patronage of Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne. Then on Friday, June 5, WINFA hosted a Regional Workshop on “Food Sovereignty and Livelihood Security”. Regional Director of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Dr. Barbara Graham, delivered the feature address at the workshop. Representatives of fifteen farmer organizations, ranging from the Dominican Republic in the north to Guyana in the south, participated in the workshop.

The final part of the Assembly took place last Saturday, June 6, with the holding of the internal business session. WINFA Coordinator Renwick Rose presented the Main Report on the activities of the Association over the past two years, and country reports were delivered by various national representatives. There were comprehensive discussions on the Draft Strategic Plan, presented by Directors Ms. Rufina Paul and Steve Maximay and there was agreement as to the main elements of such a plan and the structure needed to ensure its efficient implementation.

Elections were held for a Board of Directors, with the outgoing Board being re-elected. This means that Dominican farmers Mrs. Marcella Harris and Vincentian head of the Fairtrade Organization Philemon Allen will continue as President and Vice-President, respectively.

An extraordinary General Assembly to finalize financial mechanisms and to make the appropriate Constitutional changes is to be held in July.