The event was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries (LVV) of Suriname, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and convened over 70 stakeholders, including government representatives, private sector actors, civil society organizations, and development partners. Supported by the SDG Joint Fund funded "Agrifood System Transformation Accelerator" (ASTA) Joint Programme and the EU-funded Suriname Agriculture Market Access Project (SAMAP), the discussion aimed to foster collaboration and explore opportunities for the growth and development of Suriname's pineapple industry.
Aligned with FAO's Global Action on Green Development of Special Agricultural Products, Suriname's focus is on promoting a sustainable and green pineapple value chain. The objective is to support small and family farmers, facilitate their entry into the global market, and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the event, participants engaged in discussions to enhance the competitiveness of Suriname's pineapple sector through collaboration and cooperation. Key objectives included raising awareness about the sector's potential, analyzing market demand and supply, exploring opportunities for agro-cooperatives, farmers, and buyers (including processing companies, traders, and exporters), and discussing potential finance and investment avenues.
The Multi-Stakeholder Discussion provided an invaluable platform for stakeholders to forge partnerships and work collaboratively towards the growth and advancement of the pineapple sector. By bringing together government representatives, farmers, cooperatives, buyers, financial institutions, and other relevant stakeholders, the event facilitated knowledge sharing, experience exchange, and the identification of actionable steps for sustainable pineapple sector development in Suriname.
In his opening speech, Mr. Parmanand Sewdien, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries of Suriname, emphasized the vital significance of the pineapple sector in Suriname's agricultural landscape. He highlighted the government's commitment to fostering its growth and development, recognizing its potential for driving economic prosperity, creating opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices that enhance livelihoods.
Ms. Elizabeth Bradley, acting Director of the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BIBIS), stressed the crucial role of international cooperation and collaboration in advancing Suriname's pineapple industry. She emphasized her Ministry's role in facilitating collaboration with international companies, exploring opportunities for exporting fruits and vegetables to the Caribbean, EU, and US markets, and attracting foreign direct investment to support sector growth and create mutually beneficial opportunities for all stakeholders.
Erick Zeballos, SAMAP FAO’s Chief Technical Advisor, highlighted: "We are delighted to contribute to the advancement of Suriname's pineapple sector. SAMAP’s aim is to facilitate market access and enhance the competitiveness of the agricultural value chain."
With Suriname's rich potential for pineapple production, we believe in the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders. By working together, we can create favorable conditions for farmers, cooperatives, buyers, and other actors in the pineapple industry, driving economic growth and sustainable development in the country.
Today's collaboration between ASTA and SAMAP exemplifies the One UN approach for driving positive change in the sector and for achieving the sustainable Development Goals.
Mr. Davronjon Okhunjonov, the International Business Manager for the ASTA Joint Programme in Suriname, expressed the program's commitment to initiating sustainable changes in the pineapple value chain through the establishment of a Cooperative and Innovation Hub. The objectives of this initiative encompass multiple facets, including improving farmers' incomes, encouraging investments in modern processing techniques, creating employment opportunities, reducing environmental impact, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders. By leveraging strategic partnerships, investments, and an efficient platform, the ultimate aim is to realize tangible and measurable outcomes that contribute to the long-term growth and development of the pineapple sector.
Mr. Joseph Moestadjap, representative of the UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Suriname, emphasized the need for collaboration with all stakeholders to develop a sustainable pineapple value chain. He stated,
We will integrate the principles of decent work, promote enterprise development, empower farmers and workers, with a special consideration for women and youth through cooperatives and improved governance practices.
The discussions during the event covered various aspects of pineapple production in Suriname. Mr. Swami Girdhari, a representative from UNIDO, part of ASTA Joint Programme presented on the pineapple business, supply-demand dynamics, the current market situation in Suriname and the role of cooperatives and The Hub in promoting growth and competitiveness. Local pineapple farmers, Mr. Jerry Birambie and Mr. Vares Tempo, shared their first-hand experiences, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities within the sector. Mr. Cyrano Asoiti, Director of the Cooperative Agro-platform for development of Marowijne, shared his experience about agro-cooperatives, creating volume and improving the quality of pineapple, establishing contractual relations with buyers. Mr. Glenn Chin A Foeng, Director of the processing company Michi, showcased his company’s operations and shared information on the requirements for pineapple which Michi purchases and expressed interest in working with agro-cooperatives for the purchase of other fruits and vegetables. Ms. Anushka Ramdjielal representative of Trust Bank Amanah, provided information on the Bank’s financial products and goals in supporting the growth of the agribusiness in Suriname.
The interactive discussion session, facilitated by Mr. Girdhari, encouraged participants to ask questions, explore collaboration opportunities, and discuss supply contracts, loans, and the guarantee fund within the pineapple value chain. Stakeholders shared perspectives, exchanged ideas, and identified potential areas for joint action and partnerships. The event included an exhibition, networking opportunities, and business-to-business meetings, enabling participants to explore pineapple products and engage in meaningful conversations to establish valuable connections and unlock new opportunities within the pineapple industry. The Multi-Stakeholder Discussion concluded with an interaction with the media to disseminate valuable insights and discussions.
The organizers expressed gratitude to all participants, speakers, and organizers for their active involvement and contribution to the success of the event. They reiterated their commitment to continuing collaborative efforts to drive the sustainable growth and advancement of the pineapple sector in Suriname.
Originally published on UN Suriname
The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.