Minister with responsibility for agriculture, Dr Kedrick Pickering said government plans to merge the state-owned agriculture and fisheries departments and implement a local agriculture regulatory body.
The minister’s announcement comes amid increased calls from local agriculture workers for government to promote and invest in the industry.
“We see the importance of forming a regulatory body to deal with some of the wider issues that even just came about,” said Dr Pickering during a public meeting with residents of the Ninth Electoral District on Virgin Gorda last evening.
Dr Pickering also announced government’s intention of providing land for fisherfolk and farmers to do business.
He said the Ministry of Natural Resources is already facilitating partnerships between local farmers and overseas companies by providing land.
“One company, for instance, wants to lease three acres from government. It’s a joint venture between locals and an international company that has wide experience in this area. I am prepared to take that to Cabinet in the next couple of weeks to help take that project off the ground,” Dr Pickering said.
Calls from the agriculture community
There has been talk among local farmers and fisherfolk that government has shown little interest in developing their industry over the last few years.
Among the things agriculture workers have been clamouring for in recent times is legislation and funding that will help improve their livelihoods.
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