Potential for collaboration between neighboring islands in the Caribbean to improve food security

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Aruba hosted the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management and Financial Resilience Regional Workshop for Overseas Countries and Territories in the Caribbean. This is a workshop about resiliency of the Caribbean islands.

The goal to create a resilient Aruba with food security is a key component of this, and it also came forward in a report by the World Bank. Covid-19 taught us that Aruba cannot remain dependent on a single economic pillar, and it cannot remain dependent on imports. The opportunity to expand the Primary Sector is on that Aruba cannot miss.

Even though Aruba is lucky to evade most hurricanes, it has many other challenges similar to the rest of the Caribbean islands. Aruba is the most arid island in the region, which might be good for our tourism, but is a big challenge for our traditional agriculture. For this reason, farmers are innovating in the direction of hydroponics and other technological methods that are more efficient.

There is a spark of interest in the community for agriculture, but this needs to be further motivated and facilitated, and according to a press release, the government of Aruba is completely prepared to do this. The focus needs to be on education and collaboration. Education can foster knowledge and raise a new generation that is connected to planting and feeding. This is the reason why the government is stimulating school projects in this area recently. The importance of family agriculture cannot be left out, a beautiful activity for families which at the same time can become an additional source of income, even for hobbyists.

There is collaboration between islands in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to learn from each other and elevate their level of food safety, and expand the domestic market. It is time to consider also the potential for collaboration between neighboring islands in the Caribbean, not only Dutch islands, in order to guarantee food safety as soon as possible.

Minister of Nature, Ursell Arends congratulated Santa Rosa – Department of Agriculture and Fishing – for their hard work facilitating this event, where local products prepared and cooked by locals were exhibited and presented in an extraordinary way to visitors from the other Caribbean islands.