The Minister of Agriculture of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saboto Caesar, received an award of excellence from the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) at the organization’s 80th Anniversary Ceremony held at the IICA headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica on Friday October 7, 2022.
Caesar, one of the longest serving Ministers of Agriculture in the entire hemisphere, has been recognised for his invaluable contribution to agricultural development and rural well-being in the Americas, a release from the Ministry of Agriculture said.
According to the release, the Minister noted in his acceptance speech that the work of past leaders in IICA provides very strong shoulders upon which we can stand to build a positive future as we advance towards 100 years of existence.
Caesar, the son of a farmer, was raised in a farming community and currently represents a farming constituency.
A former Banana Scholarship recipient and National Scholar gave the assurance that his future will be dedicated to the transformation of the rural economy within the OECS and CARICOM through strategic development initiatives, the release said.
Caesar, who is a lawyer by profession with a specialisation in Banking and Finance Law from the University of London, underscored the importance of food security as a cornerstone of human existence.
The Minister reportedly delivered a moving presentation, along with several past and the present Director General and their families, who also extended congratulations to the organisation on attaining its 80th anniversary.
“The recent post volcanic eruptions recovery efforts by St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which occured in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the country is still addressing the fall out economically from the removal of trade preferences, were among the expressions of the Minister’s and the Government’s dedication to rural transformation.
“Over the last decade, the Minister has worked extensively throughout Latin America and the Caribbean with the aim of fostering greater integration between both regions. He is well- known and recognised in Latin America and the Caribbean as a friend of scores of Family Farming groups and initiatives. His work with spreading the gospel to zero hunger and to address the impacts of Climate Change are noteworthy. In recent times, the advancement of a modern medicinal wellness industry in his country to include medical cannabis and psycedelics production have been added to his diversification strategy.
“The Minister also thanked current Director General, Dr. Manuel Otero, Curt Delice, Gregor Rawlins, and Michael Dalton for their continued support,” the release said.