The Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee has promised to get fresh legislation implemented for the local agriculture industry, which is now widely being described as neglected.
Chairman of the recovery committee, Brodrick Penn made the pledge yesterday following calls from the local agriculture community.
Agriculture workers called for a number of legislation including laws relating to pesticides, as well as protection laws on certain imported products.
The workers suggested that certain agricultural products entering the British Virgin Islands threaten the health of local consumers.
“With legislation in place, we can protect what is coming into our country… With proper legislation in place, we would be providing food security – nutritious food for our people,” said one farmer who received strong support from her counterparts.
Ban genetically-modified imports
Farmers also called for protection laws barring the importation of genetically-modified seeds.
One agriculture worker noted that the adverse effects of genetically-modified plants are easily multiplied and spread from plant to plant when bees cross-pollinate.
“It is causing a lot of problems in places right now and in people’s lives and their health, and it’s going to continue to do that. So, I think we need legislation,” the farmer said.
Penn agreed overall with the agriculture workers’ arguments.
He said: “We need legislation reform throughout all the sectors but we certainly hope we will advance with that one (agriculture-related laws) as quickly as possible.”
In the meantime, the agriculture sector is expected to get a relatively small bite of the funds allocated for recovery.
Of the $721.3 million government is acquiring for recovery, agriculture is projected to receive $1.1 million.
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