CDB approves project to enhance competitiveness of Suriname’s agricultural sector

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant to the Government of Suriname to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s agricultural sector. The grant will fund the completion of a value chain analysis on selected agricultural commodities, to determine which have the most potential to provide competitive advantage to Suriname.

Deidre Clarendon, Division Chief, Social Sector Division, CDB notes, “Suriname possesses several attributes, which are favourable to the development of a vibrant agricultural sector.”

“The project will build on existing analyses through a review of national, regional and international policies, strategies and reports relevant to food and agriculture in Suriname. The findings will assist the Government of Suriname, the private sector and development partners’ efforts in identifying, prioritising, financing and executing agricultural sector investments. This could improve the participation of, and benefits for, smallholder farmers; and increase exports and import substitution,Clarendon added.

The analysis will enhance the Government’s capacity to develop evidence-based, inclusive and gender-responsive plans and programmes to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector.

The Project comprises four components:

  1. development and implementation of a Framework for Prioritisation of Agricultural Commodities in Suriname, focused on commodities with the greatest potential for socio-economic development;
  2. a detailed Value Chain Analysis and Constraints Mapping of five to seven prioritised commodities;
  3. development of a Strategy and Investment Plan for Upgrading and Deepening Value Chains for Prioritised Commodities; and
  4. a Policy Brief on gender equality and value chain development in Suriname.

Agriculture is the second most important sector of Suriname’s economy, accounting for approximately 10 percent of total export earnings and six percent of gross domestic product over the past decade. It is the main source of income for an estimated 17 percent of Suriname’s population.

The project is consistent with the Bank’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive sustainable growth and development. It aligns with CDB’s corporate priorities of supporting agriculture and rural development, and strengthening evidence-based policymaking.

The project, to which CDB will contribute USD215,000, will be implemented in partnership with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector of the Islamic Development Bank.