BVI News

Fisheries department merged with agriculture ministry to improve food security, cut costs


The Ministry of Agriculture has merged with the Department of Conservation & Fisheries — a move expected to improve food security locally, among other things.

This is according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe who told BVI News food security will be improved because more attention will be given to the subject area.

She said: “Given the synergy between the agriculture and fisheries sectors with respect to food production, the central focus of the [merged] Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is food security and regulation of the agriculture and fisheries sectors. Approaching food security from a holistic perspective brings a greater degree of emphasis to this important subject.”

Stoutt-Igwe further told our news centre, “the merger also facilitates operational cost savings due to the streamlining of services and shared use of resources which would have had to be duplicated when the sectors were managed separately.”

Staff transferred

The merger has also resulted in several staff members being transferred to other ministries or departments across the public sector. 

“There are 110 positions at the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries. However, only 57 of those positions are currently filled. Of the 57 persons, 21 have been reassigned to other ministries/departments,” Stoutt-Igwe stated.

She further said public officers whose primary functions were fisheries-related, including staff of the BVI Fishing Complex, are now stationed at Paraquita Bay on Tortola. 

On the other hand, those attached to the Environment & Climate Change Unit are now housed at the former location of the Conservation & Fisheries Department in the Quastisky Building close to the roundabout.

The remaining units within the Conservation & Fisheries Department have been incorporated under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour & Immigration and are now a part of the Environment & Climate Change Unit of that ministry.

Merger to promote a better public service

Though the merger was approved in 2018, it only came into effect from in January 2019.

It is said to be part of the public service transformation process aimed at promoting greater efficiency and prudent use of resources across government ministries and departments.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The other aspect of food security this department, the department of health, homeland security and border security and national health must look deeply into, is, what is coming into the territory in the foods, medicines, vaccines and others we are being given.

    As, it is now common knowledge that there is an open agenda to depopulate the world through de-Black depopulation.

    This real. Hope officials will not wait until it is to late to take action. There are real people/scientist out there right now, working with real powerful and very rich people to just what was mentioned above, and their target is Black people across the globe.

    This real planned and already in the exucution stages genocide. Governments need to wake up and begin taking proactive steps by checking their foods, water, and medicines.

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
  2. Hmmm says:

    This girl is a lot of talk but no action.

    Like 5
    Dislike 7
  3. Confused says:

    …We miss Dr. Potter already.

  4. Ah boy says:

    A complete waste of time.

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
  5. YOU KNOW says:

    I am actually amazed there is a ministry of agriculture!

  6. Deh Watcha says:

    Of the 110 positions only 57 filled and 21 out of the 57 reassigned to other ministries/departments.

    And persons saying they cant find work and this place need about 32 employees.

    This place need to put some ads out there man.

  7. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Agriculture and fishing are closely related so it is logical and a sensible move to merge Conservation and Fishery with Agriculture. The next move needs to be detaching Conservation and Fishery from the MEC. This ministry is too large and is top heavy. Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs are the core functions and other functions will get lost in the mix. Agriculture is too important to get lost in the mix.

    Further, new life needs to be breathe into Agriculture. Though the territory will not be sufficient in food production, maximizing the quality and quantity of food produce locally will a)reduce the food import bill, 2)enhance food security, 3) create employment and keep money local, 4)provide healthier foods……….etc.

  8. SMH says:

    A Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is needed. Conservation, National Parks and Recreations should be under this Ministry. We are a growing Territory and we need to invest more into our Natural Resources such as Farming,Fishing, and restorations of our many iconic historical sites.

    Give the PS a chance to enable something to be done. Our People likes to run their mouth in negativity each time one of our own tends to excel.

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