Farmers and fisherfolk in the British Virgin Islands now have till July 10 to apply to be part of government’s $2 million assistance programme aimed at increasing food production on a local scale.
The previous deadline for applications was Friday, July 3.
A government media bulletin said application forms can be accessed on government’s official website.
The bulletin said: “Proof of status, an estimate of materials, works to be done, or equipment required with photos where possible and a copy of Trade Licence or Fishing Licence or the notarised letter verifying engagement in farming or fishing for the past three years” must accompany the completed application form.
The documents are to be dropped off at the Premier’s Office at the Ralph T O’Neal Administration Complex and addressed to the Permanent Secretary or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government putting measures in place
In the meantime, Premier and Minister for Finance Andrew Fahie announced that his administration has put mechanisms in place to effectively monitor these grants.
He said this is to ensure accountability. Fahie also made it clear that the application forms and by extension the grants will be only for farmers who have been in that trade for a number of years and require assistance.
The Premier stated, that for farmers, the assistance will be in the form of property upgrades, tools, or machinery. Meanwhile, fisherfolk will be able to benefit from new fishing equipment or upgrades to their boats.
To qualify, for fisherfolk or farmers must first be a BVIslander, Belonger, naturalised citizen or permanent resident.
Farmers must also either be registered with the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries or they will have to provide a notarised letter of referral verifying that they have been engaged in farming for the past three years.
The farmer will also have to show that farming is their main source of income and proof of engagement in commercial agriculture. Meanwhile, fisherfolk must be a licenced commercial fisher and have held a commercial fishing licence within the last three years.
If they do not have an existing commercial fishing licence, a notarised letter verifying that they have been engaged in fishing for the last three years will have to be provided.
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