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Training facility to be built for local farmers

Minister with responsibility for agriculture, Dr Kedrick Pickering gestures to his Permanent Secretary, Ronald Smith-Berkeley. (Photo Credit: BVI News)

An advanced training facility for local farmers is to be built in the British Virgin Islands and government is not sponsoring the development.

Minister responsible for agriculture, Dr Kedrick Pickering said a private investor who is opting to remain incognito is financing the entire project.

“All that facility is going to be used for is to train farmers [in greenhouse technology] … They can train between 12 and 15 persons at a time,” said Dr Pickering, who did not divulge too much information because government has signed a nondisclosure agreement with the investors.

But, he noted that local farmers will become certified after the training.

He added that the said training will be linked to the long-promised greenhouse project that is being reinstituted.

“They (the investors) will guarantee you an investment in your time in one of the greenhouses when you are finished being trained,” Dr Pickering said.

He then noted that similar training is happening in other Caribbean countries.

However, the minister, who has his sight set on agriculture becoming the territory’s main economic pillar, said the BVI can potentially become leaders of agribusiness in the region.

While speaking about the training facility during a meeting with farmers on Wednesday, Dr Pickering said: “It is one of the most exciting things I’ve seen that anybody put out in a long time. They are doing it in Jamaica as we speak, they are doing it in Anguilla, and they are looking for other Caribbean countries to do the same thing. And if we get ahead of that aspect of it, I think we could set the pace.”

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18 Comments

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  1. Farmer says:

    A training facility for politicians might be more useful to start with…

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  2. Sam the man says:

    Training for what growing Marijuana? Dr Pickering needs to step aside and stop making headlines ….

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  3. Old McDonald says:

    Perhaps, they can build it right beside the unused greenhouses. Then, they can both collect dust together!

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  4. Tosh says:

    He tink aywe need training to grow ganja?

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  5. Troubling! says:

    I will be so glad when the FOI Legislation is put in place. Transparency is the buzz but actions say otherwise…….

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  6. VILander says:

    He so loves his c—— friends

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  7. TurtleDove says:

    Good thing but “main economic pillar” really?

    Look this is a good thing and it will help improve where we are but unless you flood the islands (all of them) with green houses that can’t be. The entire BVI can sit in most American farms 10, 20, 30, even hundreds of times and water is plenty and they are subsidize. We are not going to be able to compete with prices.

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  8. Translation says:

    A big corporation sees an investment opportunity in the agricultural business here and this ‘training’ is a guise to get them in to conduct business…

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  9. Diplomat says:

    Angel investor? What is the return on investment and interest for this angel investor? Is there a quid pro quo? Though food security is a critical national concern, is the piece meal and reactive approach the best way to try to mitigate the concern?

    Faced with a growing population/increasing demand, declining arable land, water shortage, production external competition challenges, conversion of arable land to other uses……………etc, the BVI is not self sufficient in food protection. Nonetheless, it needs to put plans, policies, practices, procedures………etc in place to reduce the food import bill, as well as enhance food security.

    Thus, training is an important factor in achieving the goal of reducing the food import bill and enhancing food security. As such, can HLSCC be tasked with providing the training, ie, workshops,conferences, classes………..etc. The training can include means and methods of increasing yield per acre, farming on small plots, crop selection, business management ………etc.

    No doubt agriculture is an important issue and should be treated as a primary, not a secondary, issue. Consequently, though it will not be a primary economic pillar, it needs comprehensive planning, organizing, resourcing……etc. Let’s not use it as a political football.

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  10. Horse Man says:

    Another in secret done deal…

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  11. MASSIVE says:

    Secrecy and non-disclosure agreements to train people to work in greenhouses?
    We can’t even have transparency in that?

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  12. VILander says:

    We’ve gone backwards a century in time with this government & their blind supporters. The Return of British Colonialism is their goal. It took 2 world wars to end it the last time. Who will save us from it now?

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  13. Support local business says:

    Tola Homegrown is a local Hydroponics and Aquaponics business. We don’t need to sell out to foreign investors. Support our own. Visit http://www.facebook.com/tolahomegrown or http://www.tolahomegrown.com for more info

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