Food talks set

Caribbean Community leaders will meet this Friday to discuss rising food prices at the 12th Special Conference of the Heads of Government in Guyana. The leaders also will discuss the current status of the African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union negotiations for an economic partnership agreement.

The decision to convene the meeting followed a call by Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell for a summit on rising food prices in the region. Mitchell wrote to CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur, earlier in November, calling for the meeting to find solutions to the problem.

“I believe that this summit is one of the most important meetings of recent times. The issue we are debating affects the quality of life of all our citizens. The fisherman in Dominica is feeling the same pain as the taxi driver in St. Lucia or the small business person in Jamaica,” Mitchell said Friday.

“Although we as individual governments can take some steps to ease the burden our people are feeling, we must recognise that this is a global issue created by international conditions.”

Jamaica’s newly elected Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has also come under pressure from political opponents to rein in inflation and skyrocketing food and fuel costs. Over the last two months, the island nation of 3.7 million citizens has seen significant increases on the supermarket shelves, as well as big jumps in gasoline and kerosene.

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