Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer Arona Fahie-Forbes believes the time is ripe for the territory to make good on the vision of developing the agriculture sector and transforming it into the territory’s main economic pillar.
Minister with responsibility for agriculture Dr Kedrick Pickering recently said he expects agriculture to surpass the financial services and tourism sectors to become the main revenue-earner for the British Virgin Islands.
Fahie-Forbes told BVI News that she welcomes the news.
“I have been in the agriculture sector for 35 years and this is the time that it is needed,” the Deputy Agricultural Officer said.
Walk the walk
According to Fahie-Forbes, the government should ‘walk the walk’ now that they have ‘talked the talk’.
“It is better late than never … After the hurricane season where we have to rebuild, this would be a pivotal time for us to put in place the resources that are required.”
She said human, financial, and structural resources are needed.
She said supporting legislation is also needed to make the sector become the territory’s economic leader.
“… [We need] to make improvements to them (the laws) and where we do not have any, we put it in place to make the environment favourable for the agriculture sector to go forward,” she reasoned.
Currently, the financial service sector accounts for about 60 percent of the annual revenue. The local tourism sector accounted for one in four jobs prior to the hurricanes.
The tourism sector was hit hard by disasters and several major resorts and tourist hubs closed as a result.
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