BVI News

Farmers, fishers get $6.1M stimulus! Premier notes food security threat

The government has dumped $6.1 million worth of economic stimulus into the local agriculture industry since the advent of COVID-19.

A breakdown of that figure shows that local fisherfolk across all nine electoral districts received a combined total of $2,750,000 while farmers received an even larger $3,398,500.

For local farmers, Districts One, Two and Nine received the highest amounts dispersed. And according to Premier Andrew Fahie, this is because farmers are “most prevalent” in those constituencies.

He said this rationale also applies to fisherfolk in Districts Nine, One, Eight, and Two who received the highest total amount dispersed to fishers.

A district-by-district breakdown of the amount of stimulus given to local farmers and fishers.

Premier Fahie disclosed these figures to the House of Assembly on Thursday. His disclosure follows the leaking of two documents showing the names of beneficiaries and amounts they received from government’s COVID-19 Fishing and Farming initiative doled out last year.

The contents of the list — some of which Fahie said was inaccurate and incomplete — raised many concerns among members of the public.

Food security threat

But in explaining today why that much money was given to the agriculture workers, Fahie said there was a perceived threat to the BVI’s food security at the start of the pandemic.

“A nation that cannot feed itself is a nation that is headed towards destruction. That is why your government secured two million from the Social Security Board in the first instance to assist our farmers and fisherfolk to fulfil this role,” the Premier explained.

He also addressed what he said was a misconception that monies from the stimulus were directly dumped into the pockets of these agriculture workers.

He said this is not the case for the majority.

“In most cases, based on the nature of what assistance was required, the money was put into infrastructure to support expanding agriculture. The same goes for the fishing grant as well. Fisherfolk who needed engines, nets, and other equipment received the help they needed to spring forward from this initiative; thereby also boosting their production. Please note that some of these needs existed following the passage of the devastating 2017 Category-5 hurricanes that destroyed most equipment necessary for food production,” Fahie explained.

The Premier, in the meantime, said an internal auditor continues to perform a monthly audit on the funds dispersed to date.

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32 Comments

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  1. Citizen says:

    No one is questioning money to farmers if they are indeed farmers and have a Trade Lic. We question people with a mango tree in their yard and getting paid for it.

    Like 76
    Dislike 3
    • FARMER says:

      HOW MUCHHHHHHHH?????????? WFISH HOW AND WHEN

    • Waste says:

      Just another Avenue for the F*y and his cronies to line their pockets. The COI is watching you …

      Like 20
      Dislike 1
    • Hmmm says:

      I could remember last year the Premier assured the Virgin Islands that there were no threat to food supply. Now he is coming with this nonsense.

      The initiative was poorly rolled. People who have a full-time job and only does farming/fishing on a part time basis should not have gotten the same amount as a full time farmer. Those individuals without a trade license and do not pay either social security or tax should not have gotten taxpayer’s money.

      Like 21
    • To Citizen says:

      The BVI is a place full of gossip. You people believe in tearing down rather than building up.

      Like 1
      Dislike 13
  2. Getting popcorn says:

    Can’t wait for all the amazing comments that are coming here soon.

    Like 13
  3. Hodgie says:

    Why paying out all these money when all the food in the supermarket are imported?

    Like 50
  4. Sad says:

    I know several people who received stimulus money and bragged about it. These people were not fishermen or farmers but they do vote. It’s plain to see that this ‘stimulus’ was designed as a means of buying votes. Out of the millions that were spent can we honestly say the BVI is producing substantially more food? They should go and ask these ‘farmers’ to show us some produce. The fishing thing is equally pathetic. How many licensed commercial fishermen are there in the Territory? Answer: no where near the amount that received a stimulus. How did these people qualify? Didn’t the application ask for a trade license and a fishing license? Are we really that irresponsible or is it something else? The government just wanted to drop some crumbs to remind people who to vote for next time.

    Like 50
    Dislike 2
  5. Wow says:

    Our schools are in such a mess. Some of that money could have gone there.

    Like 35
  6. :) says:

    What some people need to remember is likes dont win elections. You can get 200 likes on BVI News which is a lot for a news site but that translates to a very tiny percentage of votes if everybody that liked a comment can vote. Same thing with FB. You can make your little videos rack up views but that is a mirage. Based on the comments on this site during the last election cycle I swear 3 things were guaranteed, Myron winning a seat, Moses beating Fahie or giving him a run for his money and NDP retaining power. The comments were lopsided in favor of NDP. I would have bet the house that VIP would lose. NDP had a motorcade that was so deep it stretched from the Pub to SCB with ease. Election night told a different story though so dont count them chickens just yet.

    Like 5
    Dislike 7
    • @ :) says:

      Seems like you worried about the likes. Before you talk about the issues at hand you studying likes.
      #joker

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
      • @:) says:

        Some people are savagly conceited and entitled that they form a group, a rather large one obviously, to place a thumbs up on commets they post and one down for comments they didn’t or don’t like..

        Yep, the lynch mob of BVI News they can b referred to.

        It is so obvious. Whose existence are they trying to sway or change?

  7. Suffering man says:

    I didn’t know we had so many Fisher folk and farmers in this little territory.
    So how is then that almost everything in the supermarket is imported and why most of the food stuff in the market comes from Dominica?
    We should be exporting fish and farm products with all these many farmers and fisher folk.

    Like 42
  8. mamayla says:

    Things is so unbalanced in the Bvi, famers get fishermen’s he what happened too Carpenters, plumber’s, Mason’s, Mechanics an fellow family household, Mr. Premier u have fail the people.Everybody is hurting after hurricane Irma an Now Corona

    Like 20
  9. Wow says:

    Fahie flat out L**D TO US! He said it was 2 mil and that 3 mil was added. How is it 6mil now??? BVI people have no shame. You marched on the UK but sit quietly while your own people poke your f**king eyes out. We deserve every s**t that happens here.

    Like 19
  10. Rubber Duck says:

    $6.5 million dollars? What is the total annual output of the BVI Agriculture and Fisheries sectors?

    I would be surprised if it’s that much.

    Vote buying and crony paying are what it smacks of.

    Like 16
  11. Lol says:

    Fish and crops does vote?

  12. Results says:

    It’s great that last year the BVI government stimulated the local food producing industry during this pandemic. Please provide the public with the figures for the actual amount of sea food and various crops harvested, processed and sold to the public in 2020. Also please convert to figures to the amount of revenue that was generated by the farmers and fisher folk as a result of this 6.1 million dollar stimulus.

    Hopefully the farmers and fishers generated well in excess of 6.1 million dollars to the BVI economy. Anything less is a gift indicating that the farmers and fishers failed to stimulate the BVI economy and should now return the 6.1 million dollars to the treasury forthwith

    Like 17
  13. Useless Government says:

    Its too much now, its time this useless irresponsible, clueless government step down…Exit the stage and gave more responsible persons the chance..

    Like 11
  14. Lucky says:

    Wow, how many bonafide fishermen and farmers are in this country? I can speak for virgin Gorda a bit. We don’t have an agriculture station for a farmer to visit and purchase anything related to farming. We don’t have a central market since Irma for the fishermen to sit and sell their fish so why give that much money to people that say they farm and fish and not build a market for them to occupy for the people on the island to go to and buy. We buy mostly imported foods from the supermarkets and the prices are so high. When the fishermen wants to sell their catch they are on the road side with iceboxes obstructing the traffic. Premier FAHIE look at the infrastructures for these two entities and build that instead of trying to blind fold them with the $ and nothing is done to better the purpose of them being and doing what they do. Give them a stable reason to go out there every day and do what they love doing. When the money is finish and there are no suitable places for them to display and sell their productions and catch. What happens then? Make them feel appreciated not by money alone.

    Like 13
  15. Really says:

    Some of these people don’t even have a surfboard much less fishing off of rocks what engines he talked about? One man with one fishpot throwing it off the rocks got 20,000.00 really

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  16. Outcast says:

    Therefore the list that is coriculating is in fact correct. If you notice he did not attack the contents of the list. Maybe some didn’t get a cheque but it was cut. This level of recklessness is what has the UK in our backyard with this COI. He tried to deflect it on to the former government but the UK knew what he did with that stimulus money that’s why they are here. The recklessness of Andrew will put the BVI back several decades in terms of autonomy. And what is worse he tries to justify the crap he does and gets up boldfacedly trying to pull the wool over the eyes of everybody.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  17. AYO KEEP IT UP says:

    VIP 6 MILLION FOR FARMERS/FISHERMEN….NDP 7 MILLION FOR A PLANE

  18. COI more to come says:

    This is called CORRUPTION the rest of the world, in the BVI we call it STIMULUS! Well done FAHIE you will pass the COI with perfect A.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  19. . says:

    If this spending is not enough to buy an election nothing is

  20. Truth Be Told says:

    Some of these people on the incomplete list did not receive any money. That needs to be looked into too.

  21. Mikel says:

    This f**king government is doing bulls**t

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