Minister of Natural Resources and Labour Dr Kedrick Pickering said agreements are likely to be signed with two major companies that are interested in leasing spaces in the greenhouses at Paraquita Bay, Tortola.
He did not name the companies, but said one is a Canadian firm that has approached the government through a local entity.
It is interested in taking food waste from all over the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and recycling it, said Dr Pickering, who is also deputy premier.
“This organization will be looking at the whole issue of recycling food waste for agricultural purposes; it’s a big business in Canada. And we had a visit from a team from there who have come to see us to look at how that could be implemented in the BVI.”
“They have looked at the greenhouses; they are extremely excited by what we have up there [at Paraquita Bay] in terms of space. They are ready to take over one of those [greenhouses] if we can come to an agreement, and in short order start taking food waste from all over the BVI and recycling it. What that does, it’s then used for producing food. Also for those individuals and farmers who are interested in specifically organic farming; this is the technology that is available for that,” Dr Pickering explained.
He added that representatives of the Canadian company are to return to the territory soon to make a presentation to members of Government.
“We are involved in discussion with them; we are moving forward, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will be able to make an announcement after we have a presentation to the Caucus, and the team comes down to show what is possible and how we can advance that.”
Dr Pickering, in the meantime, said the government also hopes to enter into an agreement with another company in which a BVIslander is involved.
“There is one local individual who is involved with a major company that is involved in greenhouse technology; they have been banging on the door for the last three-and-a-half years. We have been waiting to get to this point where we can finally make a decision and enter in an agreement with that company, and we are at that stage also.”
“Hopefully again, in the next couple of weeks, we will sign an agreement with them to lease part of the greenhouse to them so they can start doing some work in that space. What all of this means is that, once we have started, the locals who are keen to learn this technology can be brought into the fold and we can start expanding the process. I am really excited abut where agriculture is,” Dr Pickering added.
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