Under the patronage of His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi, president of Suriname, and in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator Ad Interim, Dr. Dennis Zulu, representatives from the United Nations and government officials from Suriname, today launched a significant UN Joint SDG Fund project to upgrade the pineapple sector through a programme that will benefit indigenous and other rural communities. The four-year project will be implemented by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The joint programme, “Sustainable Pineapple Value Chain Development”, part of the “The Agrifood Systems Transformation Accelerator” (ASTA) co-led by FAO and UNIDO, was developed in close collaboration with the various stakeholders in the pineapple value chain in Suriname. The joint programme will see the four UN agencies, in partnership with development banks and local financial institutions, implement several solutions including an innovation hub to provide cutting edge technical assistance and an innovative guarantee facility to ease access to credit and de-risk investments.
In his opening remarks, UN Resident Coordinator, Dr. Denis Zulu said: “At the United Nations, we are committed to supporting, to accompanying, and to pioneering new ways of facilitating linkages between value chain actors and service providers, strengthening and institutionalizing knowledge in local institutions, and contributing to a conducive policy environment. But we need to do it together and we certainly cannot do it without each other”.
Ms. Lisa Kurbiel, head of the Joint SDG Fund, congratulated Suriname on being successfully selected amongst 10 programmes from 155 proposals received by the Fund after going through a very competitive process. She emphasized “this joint programme offers a unique opportunity to channel SDG-compliant investments into the pineapple value-chain through an innovative collateral facility to ease access to credit and de-risk investments accompanied by cutting edge technical assistance. We also see this joint programme as a model with potential to be scaled to other value chains both in the country and in the region”.
His Excellency Albert R. Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation, stressed on the importance of this financial and technical assistance that targets the sustainable development of a value chain that is deeply anchored in the culture of the Indigenous Peoples and other communities. “The success of this program will give our Country access to foreign investment to strengthen the livelihoods of local farmers and Suriname's capacity to export.”
His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi, president of Suriname, expressed satisfaction at the launch ceremony of this project and praised the SDG Fund that is in the best position to bridge a gap though a sustainable investment model that leverages the power of markets to empower communities, and support a clear path for farmers to build a rewarding, modern pineapple value chain in Suriname. The president highlighted: "Suriname's pineapple sector is challenged by a lack of modern production, post-harvest handling, and an integrated supply chain. To solve these problems, consideration of all stakeholders is needed. And we are delighted, to count on the UN, as one of our trusted stakeholders.[...] a key component to succeed in this project, is the cooperation of all parties, – if we want to go fast, we will go alone, but if we want to go far, we need to go together.”
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Labour Organization, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Industrial Development Organization
RCO, Communications Focal Point
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