Commonwealth Secretariat and IICA strengthen efforts to boost food security in the Caribbean

06 July 2022
Press release
farmer using a tablet

One of the greatest challenges facing many Commonwealth countries is the global food crisis and soaring prices.

Yesterday, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation on key agricultural and fisheries challenges confronting the Commonwealth Caribbean and to deepen ongoing cooperation on digitalisation in agriculture.

The memorandum was signed by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, QC and IICA Director General, Manuel Otero.

Through this collaboration, both organisations aim to support Commonwealth Caribbean countries to better leverage digitalisation for increased food production, to achieve agricultural and fisheries development, including trade and investment, and rural well-being across the region.

Secretary-General at the MOU ceremony

At the virtual signing ceremony, Secretary-General Scotland said:

“In uncertain times, strengthening regional and global cooperation is key. If we are to build the resilience of the most vulnerable members in our Commonwealth family, then we must work together to fight what can seem to be the overwhelming challenges of climate change and threats to food security. I am delighted that IICA and the Commonwealth Secretariat are joining forces to tackle these challenges.”

Director General of the IICA, Manuel Otero said:

“Caribbean countries are key to ensuring food security at the global level. At IICA we are committed to supporting the development of resilient, innovative, inclusive and profitable agriculture where new generations have opportunities to feed their families with dignity and generate well-being in their communities.”


Specific areas of cooperation include:

  1. Climate-Resilient Agriculture & Fisheries
  2. Increasing Productivity and Competitiveness
  3. Trade and Investment Opportunities
  4. Access to Climate Finance
  5. User Empowerment and experience sharing for farmers and fisherfolk
  6. Capacity Building for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
  7. Digital Agriculture and Digital Fisheries (Enabling the transformation of smallholder agriculture and artisanal fisheries)

At present, there are 13 IICA members among the 56 members of the Commonwealth and all Commonwealth countries in the Americas belong to IICA. Facilitated by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Connectivity Agenda (CCA) and IICA, this partnership will help build upon the work of both organisations’ ambition of a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Media contact

  • Rena Gashumba  Communications Adviser, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • T: +44 7483 919 968  |  E-mail