Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 9th 2016 Contents BG22 REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JUNE 9 • 2016
Disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms and
depressions, and floods over the last 15 years have
cost the Government and people of Jamaica more
than $4 billion.
This was disclosed by Deputy Director General of
the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency
Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson who said
weather systems have had a significant negative
impact on the country s economy, physical and social
infrastructure and the environment.
He added that while these disasters cannot be pre-
vented, the country can plan to mitigate and effectively
respond to them.
"So, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emer-
gency Management continues to devise methodologies
aimed at developing effective hazard mitigation
strategies and programmes as well as prioritising dis-
aster risk reduction initiatives," Thompson noted.
"These methodologies also serve to inform the
Development Order, Land Use Zoning and the Devel-
opment Planning process, which are tried and proven
methods of infusing mitigation measures into devel-
opment. It also provides a means for risk management
to be addressed through these measures that serve
to reduce the impact of disasters and ultimately build
June 1 signaled the start of the Atlantic Hurricane
Season, which lasts until November 30. AP
The Barbados-based cargo
ship Schooner Ruth is
expected to start transport-
ing inter-island cargo during
the third quarter of this year.
The interior of the vessel is currently
being fitted out, with focus on installing
solar refrigeration equipment.
Launched in December 2014, the small
cargo vessel is a pilot of the "Caribbean Sail
Cargo Initiative" project of the UWI Cave
Hill Campus, Centre for Food Security and
Entrepreneurship in partnership with SV
"What we want to do is create a sail cargo
fleet where Schooner Ruth is the first ship,
is operating sustainably, working within the
green economy and is reducing consumption
of fossil fuel," said Ian Dash, Director of SV
"Although Schooner Ruth is a very small
vessel with only a capacity to carry 50
tonnes, we are already looking at another
existing vessel, which if the financing
becomes available through the Climate Mit-
igation Fund, we will have a 400 tonne ves-
sel, which we can put into servicing Guyana.
In the future we are looking at large vessels
plying the Caribbean with highly techno-
logically advanced sail systems, which can
carry grain and other bulk commodities."
Following a meeting with stakeholders
last week, Dash said Barbados needs to
reduce its reliance on food imports from
outside the region.
"We have to come back, in my view, to
sourcing our food and our fresh food from
our neighbours in the Caribbean Commu-
nity, such as Guyana, Jamaica, St Vincent
and St Lucia, Dominica and indeed from
ourselves, because we are just sending all
of our hard-earned capital overseas and we
should be keeping it here where we can use
it to develop our social services," he said.
The agency, PROPEL (Promotion of
Regional Opportunities for Produce through
Enterprises and Linkages), funded by Global
Affairs Canada has been giving critical sup-
port to the Centre for Food Security and
Entrepreneurship for the project.
It has provided financing to the tune of
US$70,000 and has committed a further
"We ve been using funding from the Gov-
ernment of Canada to support the whole
refrigeration and solar component of the
project. We like the idea that this is an envi-
ronmentally-friendly initiative that we see
three things coming out of. It is an envi-
ronmentally-friendly mode of transportation,
we like the idea that it is going to get produce
across the Caribbean using refrigerated
means and we can do training in agricultural
practices, especially in terms of handling
fresh produce," said deputy director of PRO-
PEL, Munish Persaud.
"We would now like to get a little more
involved from the market systems perspec-
tive because I believe that together we would
be able to see the boat sailing between
Dominica and Barbados with fresh produce
Agribusiness Marketing Consultant at
PROPEL, Nadia Paquette-Anselm is also
keen on seeing the vessel operating between
Barbados and Dominica.
"Most of our small vessels or schooners
sail north-bound out of Dominica so you
will see that a lot of the trade involving
fresh produce occurs between Dominica
and the northern islands of the Caribbean.
We have some schooners that go south-
bound as far as Martinique. We ve been
trading with Barbados for some time right
now, but we ve had our bottlenecks as it
relates to trade because of some issues relat-
ing to vessels and availability of vessel and
we recognise that with Schooner Ruth we
can create an opportunity for trade of fresh
produce between Dominica and Barbados,"
A training component is attached to the
Caribbean Sail Cargo Initiative.
As a result, arrangements have been made
with the Samuel Jackman Prescod Poly-
technic for the provision of shore-based
training in association with the Caribbean
Fisheries Development Institute.
Discussions are also underway with rep-
resentatives of the Barbados Youth Service
regarding providing candidates who are
interested in seafaring as a vocation.
Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean are expected to
surpass the 30 million mark for the first time ever
this year, following a record 28.7 million arrivals in
Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation
(CTO) Richard Sealy says the industry got off to a
fast start in 2016, registering a 7.3 per cent rise in
the first quarter over the corresponding period last
During this period, the Caribbean region welcomed
approximately 8.5 million international visitors,
580,000 higher than the first quarter of 2015.
"This performance was buttressed by lower oil
prices and the strong US dollar, which increased
the appeal of the region to potential visitors. The
many air service agreements ensured that the region
had adequate seats to facilitate the flow of travellers
to and within the region," the CTO chairman
Nineteen destinations showed improvements upon
their 2015 performance, with eight registering double
digit growth of between 10.5 per cent and 26.8 per
The growth was led by intra-regional trips which
rose by 12-9 per cent, followed by the European
market which registered growth of 11 per cent.
Sealy told media at a news conference at Caribbean
Week New York that regional tourism officials have
recognised that more needed to be done to keep
visitors occupied while in the Caribbean.
"The CTO continues to work feverishly with our
members to see how they can improve their product
offering and diversify their markets," he said.
The CTO has projected growth of between 4.5
per cent and 5.5 per cent in 2016.
Caribbean on course
to break 30 million
tourist arrivals barrier
Jamaica govt $4b
New inter-island cargo service
on stream for later this year
The Caribbean region welcomed
approximately 8.5 million
international visitors, 580,000
higher than the first quarter of 2015.
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