Former Acting Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Tessa Smith-Claxton, as been appointed to a post to assist government in developing policies to potentially improve and develop the local agricultural sector.
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley made that announcement while delivering remarks at a recent sitting of the House of Assembly.
“I recognized the need for policy support in the ministry and I am, therefore, pleased to announce that [Mrs] Smith-Claxton will progress from her former position as Acting Director of Agriculture and Fisheries to Assistant Secretary in my ministry with responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries,” Dr Wheatley said.
He said he believes Smith-Claxton’s ‘prior knowledge and skills’, will play a pivotal role in rebuilding the agriculture and fisheries sector in the British Virgin Islands.
Dr Wheatley also congratulated Theodore James who has been appointed the new Director of Agriculture and Fisheries. With these two new appointments, the minister said his ministry can now begin the process of resolving some key issues in the farming and fisheries sector.
“I will first meet with farmers, and they can expect for us to engage on a number of issues, including water, conditions for the use of crownland, investment in the sector, regulating both crop and livestock, opportunities for investment in the sector etcetera, coordination of crops, marketing of produce, among other things. Fishers can expect a similar meeting closely following the meeting with farmers,” Dr Wheatley said.
And in a subsequent interview with BVI News, the minister said he believes the territory develop a viable agriculture industry.
He added that and that he will work hard to ensure that goal is achieved “proper structure, cooperation among farmers, private investment, the right infrastructure and accountability, among other things” are components needed to achieve this venture.
Former Agriculture Minister Dr Kedrick Pickering said back in February 2018 that he believed the agriculture sector had the potential to become the leading economic pillar in the BVI.
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