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||This Country Programming Framework (CPF) sets out four government priority areas to guide FAO partnership and support with the Government of Suriname. The goal is to bring together innovative international best practices and global standards with national and regional expertise for the next four years from 2016 to 2019.
The CPF was prepared following consultation and agreement with the Ministries of Agriculture; Public Health; Education, Science and Culture; Welfare; Regional Development; Physical Planning, Land and Forestry Management; Sport and Youth Affairs, as well as civil society and the private sector. The formulation of the CPF involved review and feedback from SLC and RLC CPF focal points and regional initiative delivery managers. In addition, the CPF was informed by key relevant policy documents.
II. Country context and priorities
3. Suriname’s national development strategy is articulated in its National Development Plan (2012–2016) and more recently during the inaugural speech of the President Desiré Bouterse after his re-election in July 2015. The plan lays out a set of priorities and actions to address economic, social and climatic vulnerabilities. It focuses on three main priorities – i) economic diversification through broad private sector development; ii) strengthening social services and iii) better management of disaster risks.
The National Development Plan identifies agriculture, livestock farming, fisheries and forestry as one of the cornerstones of the country’s diversified economy and the basis for prosperity and wellbeing. Agriculture is the second most important economic sector of the economy, accounting for 10 % of total export earnings, 10 % of GDP and employing 17 % of the labour force. The main crops are rice, bananas and other fruits and vegetables, with rice being the dominant crop both in terms of exports and acreages cultivated. There are also significant exports of shrimp and scale fish. The government envisages the country as the potential bread basket of the Caribbean.
Agriculture related policies are defined in the National Agricultural Innovation Strategy 2013- 2018 (GOS, 2013) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries policy papers 2005-2010 and 2010-2015. The priorities for the sector are: food security and food safety, sustainable agriculture, development of the sector to be a major food producer and supplier for the Caribbean, increased contribution of agriculture to GDP, spatial conditions for sustainable development of the sector and managing risks and constraints in the implementation of agricultural policy. The plan also recognizes coordination, internal control through competency and sound programme and project management and risk management as key success factors.
In his inaugural speech, the President also identified the following priorities for the agriculture sector: support for palm oil and rice, certification and food safety, improvement of the quality of agricultural products, assistance for the pest threat to the banana industry, support to companies to modernize and support for cattle breeding and a sustainable fisheries industry.
To guide the food and nutrition agenda at the national level, in 2014 the FAO assisted the government to formulate a Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Action Plan. The Ministry of Agriculture has ownership of the document and is committed to its ratification by the Government of Suriname.
Though Suriname is categorized as an upper middle income country, it is recognized that Suriname shares the vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) having a small
population, limited resources, susceptibility to natural disasters, high vulnerability to external shocks and excessive dependence on international trade. The country is vulnerable to climatic disasters, particularly flooding resulting from sea level rise. The National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan for Suriname (GOS, 2014), and the Climate Action Plan 2008–2013 (GOS, 2008) express the country’s policies to address its climatic vulnerabilities.
The CPF was prepared using FAO’s framework of the five Strategic Objectives (SOs) and the three Regional Initiatives for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The Regional Initiatives focus on the following areas of work: 1) Hunger Free Latin America and the Caribbean (related mainly to SO1, SO3); 2) Family Farming and Rural Territorial Development (related mainly to SO3, SO5); and 3) Agricultural and Food Value Chain Development – Improving Food and Feed Systems (related mainly to SO2, SO4).
Further, the Caribbean Sub-region has developed a strategic plan with four main programme
elements based on the last CPF process, the three Regional Initiatives and the five Strategic Objectives. These programme elements were approved at the meeting of Caribbean Ministers attending the FAO Regional Conference in May 2014. They are as follows:
a. Zero Hunger Challenge Initiative
b. Value Chain (Food and Feed Systems) Initiative and Small-scale/Family
c. Risk Management, Resilience and Territorial Development
d. Public Policy and Governance
The priority areas identified by the Surinamese stakeholders for their new CPF are well integrated into these frameworks and continue to build on the advances that have been made in the concluding CPF 2012–2015. They are also consistent with the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Agriculture Policy, the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) Agriculture Policy and Strategic Plan, the Caribbean Regional Food and Nutrition Security, the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Plan of Action, particularly the section on Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger and Poverty, as well as the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of which at least 14 out of the 17 are related to FAO’s work.
Moreover, between FAO’s mandate and its gender equality goal and objectives there is a clear synergy. FAO believes that progress towards eliminating hunger and poverty will result from: i) ensuring that its programmes and projects, as well as its normative work, reduce the gap between rural women and men in access to productive resources and services; ii) ensuring that women and men have the ability to influence programme and policy decision-making, and building institutional responsiveness and accountability (voice); and iii) ensuring that rural women and men can take up economic opportunities to improve their individual and household well-being (agency). Women’s ability to articulate their needs and priorities will facilitate the ability of rural institutions in member countries to address women’s needs and become more accountable to both women and men farmers. Both women and men need an enabling environment to exercise choices and transform them into desired actions and outcome.