Excerpt from an address by Mr Gregg C.E. Rawlins, IICA Representative in Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of the Launch of the Second annual IICA/CARDI Media Award for Excellence in Agricultural Journalism 2010-2011
" Today, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is pleased to be associated, for the second year running, with the IICA/CARDI Media Awards for Excellence in Agricultural Journalism. We are privileged to be sharing this responsibility with one of our key partners the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). We are also joined and supported by other key agencies in the agricultural sector: the Ministry of Food Production, the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO), the Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Trinidad and Tobago Agribusiness Association (TTABA), all of whose support will be counted on in some measure to make this year's award a collaborative success.
In 2009, the inaugural competition targeted both media practitioners and citizen journalists, in an effort to capture, as widely as possible, the contributions towards agricultural journalism from the media and general public in Trinidad and Tobago. Last year’s competition, while organized on a much smaller pilot scale, was successful in identifying key steps that needed to be taken to improve this year’s competition. As we seek to build on the experiences of last year – we move forward to capture and reward media contributions to the promotion of agriculture in Trinidad and Tobago.
The theme of this year’s award competition is “Agriculture – Rooting for Sustainable Development”. This theme is “rooted” in the significant role that agriculture plays in the sustainable development of our nation, as it does, by extension in the wider Caribbean. We see agriculture as contributing to most, if not all areas of national development. It is our expectation that the entries to the award competition will embody the theme in its totality, thereby emphasizing this important point and bringing the message “home” to the widest listening and viewing public as possible.
New categories, with more attractive awards, have been incorporated in this year’s award competition. This can be seen as an indication of how seriously we in the sector value the contributions of our media practitioners in this area and wish to continue to encourage you to work in this area. Additionally, the wide range of categories provides scope for journalists, broadcasters and media houses in general, to explore and enter into new areas and avenues associated with agricultural journalism.
I wish to specially invite our esteemed colleagues within the media to take advantage of the opportunities that are being offered for you to expand your horizons in the area of agricultural journalism. The relationship will indeed be symbiotic/mutually beneficial, as we within the sector will indeed benefit tremendously by your partnership and your leadership in charting a new course for agricultural journalism in Trinidad and Tobago. At the end of the day, your readership, viewing and listening audiences would have been better off and agriculture would have been elevated."
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