BVI News

Agriculture & Fisheries Marketing Authority to be established to manage local sector

A proposed piece of legislation titled the Virgin Islands Food Security & Sustainability Bill is slated to pave the way for the introduction of an Agriculture & Fisheries Marketing Authority to manage the business affairs of the sector.

Legal draftsman George Romilly said during a live online forum on Thursday that the authority will be a for-profit cooperative managed for the benefit of local fisherfolk and farmers.

“The Bill provides that the initial ownership will be 49 percent of the authority with the shares owned by the government, and members of the authority will own the remaining 51 percent,” Romilly explained.

“There is a clause in the Bill that provides that once the authority manages to demonstrate that is has attained financial and sound management benchmarks, the government will divest itself of the majority shareholding and therefore the members themselves will become the majority shareholders,” he added.

The barrister said the board of directors for the authority will comprise the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, the territory’s Financial Secretary, as well as the authority’s Director-General.

Additionally, there will be eight other directors from the fishing and farming sector, including representatives from the sister islands.

He also said the authority would provide technical and business support, training, and grants during times of emergency.

The entity will relieve the Department of Agriculture of the responsibility to manage the BVI abattoir and to lease Crown land for food production, among other things.

Fishing complexes on each of the four main islands will also be introduced.

“Our department is not well-positioned to promote commerce and is best at regulating while leaving the business of fishing and farming to the private sector,” Director of Agriculture Theodore James explained.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said the new Bill will replace the present archaic law for those sectors.

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5 Comments

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  1. vip heckler says:

    This waste ah time ain’t plant a grain of corn yet since spending almost 2 years in that seat. All he is doing is forming boards and committees so his friends can make money while the country starve

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  2. Lazy says:

    There is and will be no fishing or agriculture in the BVI. The Belonger is too damn lazy and the Belongers are keeping expat workers out. The only thing planted is mamas fat a** in her car going to the grocery store.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  3. Skepticism Hasn't Waned. says:

    Belongers are neither neither lazy nor keeping expats out, but go ahead segregationist living human exploiter and degrader.

    Meanwhile, Initiatives such as these have been political tools for over thirty years and counting. Yet, not one of them has produced a viable agricultural scheme a grain of corn, or a viable fishing industry or a fish.

    What they have produced over the years are attempts at a miniscule distraction green house farm, a pretensive make believe of a beach repair and much skepticism of where the millions of dollars did go, do and still go, are still really going.

    We await results this time, but remain skeptical there will be any.

  4. New inititative says:

    This is a new initiative. One they never did before I commend the minister & the people in the sector who put forward their ideas.

  5. @lazy says:

    Tell that to the farmers and fisherfolk of the territory who have been doing this for decades with no promise of help or assistance from Government. They are BVIslanders – and very hard working ones. My plea to the minister here is not to let this whole industry be inundated by people with no intention of working, but just drawn by the promise of money – this is where the money will be wasted. And LAZY – perhaps refrain from speaking if you don’t know what you’re talking about….

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