Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley has warned leaders of the region that droughts being experienced in several areas of the world, including North America and China, are threatening to exacerbate food supply disruptions in the Caribbean.

Mottley made the statement during her address to the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo II recently, stating that disruption stems from a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

She stressed that recognizing the dangers ahead, and making the necessary plans and adjustments to mitigate its effects must be done on a scale that is beyond the medium term.

“We have been, as recent as this week, receiving stories in the news media of acute droughts that have taken place…we expect that this will have an impact on the supply of food going into next year. It therefore means that our plans cannot only be medium-term plans to substitute food which we must do as Guyana is planning to do under the distinguished leadership of my brother President Ali,” she stated.

“By 2025 with corn and soya production being ramped up to scale…In the interim we don’t have the luxury of that because we have a population that is feeling the vagaries and the negative consequences of rampant inflation but inflation is going to also reinforce the fact that the lack of access is going to be there because of these droughts,” she added.

Mottley stressed that no government can avoid the realities of needing to feed its people and that there are things that can be done and have been done in the past to ensure navigating through tough times.

“None of us can avoid the reality that our people must eat and the reality is that there are things that we can do and that we have done in our past to ensure survival and we are there again… We have the responsibility for urgent action today”, she said.

Prime Minister Mottley noted that following the Guyana Forum, regional heads had been tasked with formulating a framework for financing these plans. She added that her own country, Barbados, is working closely with regional and international organisations to engage financiers for this purpose.

Also, in attendance at the meeting was the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley.