Farmers and fishers go on exhibition across main islands
A week-long series of activities is planned across the territory’s main islands in recognition of Farmer’s & Fishers Week, which will run from March 18 to March 23.
Things kick off on Tortola this Saturday and Sunday with farmers’ and fishers’ exhibition and market days. These events are expected to feature various exhibitions, pumpkin soup and gooseberry stew competitions, livestock displays, food for sale, live entertainment, and games.
Activities will then move over to Jost Van Dyke on March 20 before moving to Virgin Gorda on March 21. As for Anegada, a chicken coop will be installed at the Claudia Creque Educational Centre to serve as a practical educational tool for youngsters to “ensure that young people are actively engaged in the agricultural and fisheries sector in the Virgin Islands.”
A media release from the Premier’s Office, which has portfolio responsibility for agriculture, said the week-long activities will conclude at the Elmore Stoutt High School with a school garden exhibition, and a sampling segment of the produce from that garden.
In the meantime, Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Theodore James said his staff, the local farming and fishing community, schools, and private sector partners all pitched in to organise the activities.
“The community continues to step up to support these sectors and we are encouraged that Farmers and Fishers’ Week will continue to advance,” James stated.
This year’s theme for Farmers & Fishers’ Week is ‘Farmers and Fishers: Building the Third Pillar of the Economy’.
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OK… So here is the problem. There is a whole DEPARTMENT full of office workers dedicated to farming and fishing here in the BVI. There is a GOVERNMENT MINISTER assigned to the role of agriculture and fisheries, yet, throughout the year they do not do very much AT ALL (if anything) to assist Farmers and Fishermen operating in this territory. I know this for a FACT. There is no advocating for them. No grants or assistance programs. No government subsidies. NOTHING. Then they announce their AGRICULTURE DAY – and request that farmers and fishermen PAY $50 to attend. PAY TO ATTEND?!? What ridiculousness is this? The farmers and fishermen of this territory put in 14 hour days for very little return and no support. Without their dedication and commitment there would be NO possibility of a day such as this. The LEAST the government could do is to let them showcase their product without charging them to do so on a day dedicated to celebrate them. Charge the other vendors YES… the ones selling candy, toys, bounce house vendors, but NOT the farmers and fishermen! COME ON! There are many ways the government could be supporting these people….. Grants (to actual farmers and fishermen – not announcing a large sum for agriculture and then squandering it by giving it away to every person who applies with no boat, no land and no intention of ever lifting a finger to farm or fish), government subsidies – buying the produce from the farmers and fishermen themselves at a fair price – removing the ability of supermarkets to beat them down on pricing, selling their produce for next to nothing, so they can compete with the low-quality, low-cost imported goods. Even easier – if a legitimate BVI farmer or fisherman wants to utilize the new market square DO NOT CHARGE THEM – all they should need to do is notify the necessary department the day before and they should be able to use this facility FOR FREE. Where has the budget for agriculture and fisheries gone this year? On sending a group of office workers to St. Croix and then the remainder on their salaries for the year? The farmers and fishermen have seen NOTHING. Yet as soon as it suits, the same department is up and advertising a day that could not exist without the perseverance and commitment of this group of people as if the department has done anything to facilitate it? Then to charge them when the DEPARTMENT OWN THE LAND – FOR WHAT?!?! We are tired of Farming and Fishing being used for nothing more than political gain – for the last 30 years, the same departments and ministers have pledged commitment to this vocation, but in reality – they do NOTHING.
You say “No grants or assistance programs. No government subsidies. NOTHING. ”
Not even the millions of the peoples money that was handed out as farmers and fishers covid grants. Millions and nothing to show for it.
How much of that ACTUALLY went to farmers and fishermen? If it had been given to the right people then results would be showing now. Read the comment properly – millions was slated for farmers and fishermen – but it was never actually given to them. It was given to everyone else.
I would really enjoy some local watermelons, cucumbers, peppers,okra, calaloo, and some beans. If not count me out, not interested.
The third Pillar of economic sustainability is a dream. Does the ministry or minister know how hot that area is, no water for years, the last time I remember they give water for one week because it was agricultural week and a few times per month. Mr. Minister please share the plans of how the farmers are engaged in this agricultural plan and don’t forget the fishermen. All now I can get fish to eat hardly anyone come with fish.
I’m with you!🙊🤐
I think our Fisherman need to free fuel just like the farmers need water