BVI News

Agriculture suffers $13M in losses; help arrives

Dr Kedrick Pickering

The government is planning to pump $300,000 into the agricultural sector in response to last year’s hurricanes, which caused local agriculture workers to suffer collective losses of roughly $13 million.

These were the findings of a Department of Conservation and Fisheries assessment, which Agriculture Minister Dr Kedrick Pickering released in the House of Assembly on Thursday.

Dr Pickering said the figures represent the ‘state’ of the fishing and farming sectors combined.

In the fishing industry, the assessment was done among 78 fishermen whose losses ranged from fishing pots to their fishing boats.

“The monetized losses range from just a couple thousands of dollars in the case of fish pots, to approximately $70,000 in the case of a vessel. The total value of these losses adds up to approximately $3 million,” he said.

He said the sports fishing sector suffered a ‘major setback, as a result.

The assessment said local farmers suffered a combined loss of approximately $10 million.

It collated information from 126 farmers who lost livestock, poultry, crops and infrastructure.

“The entire territory suffered greatly. Therefore, the available funds needed to be spread across many areas to jump-start the recovery efforts. The combined industry of agriculture and fisheries was allotted $300,000 to assist the farmers and fishermen,” he explained.

Dr Pickering said, after ‘much deliberations’, the sector will see more assistance.

Stakeholders will be assisted with water tanks, fencing posts, fencing wire, and other farming supplies. The Department of Agriculture will also be making low-cost fruit trees available to farmers.

Fisherfolk will also receive fish pot wire, hooks, ropes, lines, among other things.

The minister said, as the country continues on its rebuilding thrust, it will be difficult for ‘fragile’ sectors such as agriculture which does not carry insurance to bounce back.

He vowed to continue to ‘explore all available opportunities’ to rebuild and grow the sector.

Back in December, Dr Pickering told farmers and fishermen at a public meeting, they had been effectively placed at the bottom of the priority list and may not see any form of financial assistance till the ‘second quarter’ of 2018.

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  1. Reality says:

    Agriculture lost $10,000,000 yeah right ! where was this figure plucked from? Pickering lives in fantasy land no way the industry is that prominent…does it produce milk? no, does it produce cheeses no, eggs,meat and vegetables large scale no – all/most of our fresh food is imported which is why its so darn expensive…ok the odd farmers stall sells bits and pieces but don’t try and make out we have a multi million dollar agricultural industry Dr Pickering …not for one minute do I believe that 126 farmers lost on average almost $100,000 each! ridiculous….

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  2. Z6 says:

    You would be surprised how much stock was lost. If you’re not into farming or own animals then you wouldn’t feel the pain and losses we’ve endured because of the hurricanes.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  3. Hopelessness says:

    It is really depressing lately to have to listen to this guy. A cloud of hopelessness just descends on you like a fog.

    We need him gone.

    • Good ting says:

      The Department of Agriculture and thè Chief Agriculture Officer should be greatly rewarded for producing $10 million worth of agriculture. What do you think? Excellent job guys. Keep it up.

  4. ndp heckler says:

    Agriculture is suffering under your hands

  5. Retired says:

    So according to Dr.Pickering 78 fisherman lost 3 million dollars and 126 farms lost 10 million dollars due to the 2017 hurricanes. These numbers seem kind of vague. It would be more practical for the minister to tell the public the following:

    Fishing – the number and types of boats, pots, long lines, buoys, etc. that were lost

    Farmers – the number and types of farm animals, fruit trees, water tanks, lengths of fence, gates, etc. that were lost.

    I think most BV Islanders could then determine the actual dollar losses for themselves instead of reading these unsubstantiated monetary losses from the MNR&L.

  6. Rubber Duck says:

    So that’s about 200 votes bought right there.

  7. No nonsense says:

    Well if the minister cant give account of the funds. Then it must be the man in charge of the department. Who when I checked have not a clue about agriculture not even how to plant, nurture and when to harvest a tomato. We should ask him, where the money gone. He need to join his boss(the minister) for lock up. Abuse of the people’s money!!

  8. CLUELESS says:

    Some of you love to jump up and post foolishness without thinking. Mr or Miss REALITY one coconut tree has a value of 100,000.00 dollars over the course of its lifetime…you need a reality check. Stop trying to fit everything into your political bias. You are totally clueless.. 10 million is joke to what the sector actually lost…go siddung.

    • LOL says:

      I should sell you some Coconut Trees for $ 100000.00, I have not seen any industry on island concerning Coconut Trees. As far as lost fishing boats they need to carry insurance like house-owners cannot expect the taxpayer to cover their losses. All of us have suffered.

    • Pathetic says:

      What nonsense you spout @clueless at least your name fits your ignorant comments $100,000 coconut trees ! You fool….I guess you’ll value the mangy donkey that wanders the streets at $200,000 given all the work it can do in its lifetime!!! Most of the cows in Tortola just meander aimlessly around – there is v little proper husbandry shown….

    • $$$ says:

      Agriculture is winning!! Brilliant. Ohhh so much winning. Winning winning winning. Way to go team pari. Let the haters bray. Keep it up and dont change a thing.

  9. Lol says:

    What? Delusional. Pickering OUT!

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