BVI News

Gov’t will monitor the use of grants to fisherfolk and farmers

Government has put mechanisms in place to effectively monitor the grants received by fisherfolk and farmers through its $2 million assistance programme geared towards stimulating food production in the territory.

Premier Andrew Fahie said these systems are to ensure full accountability of the funds awarded to qualified fisherfolk and farmers.

“There’s also a second part to it where the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries have some forms that they have to fill out for statistics, and also to make sure that the persons who receive the grant is living up to their end of the bargain,” Fahie said during a recent statement on local radio station, ZCCR.

Not for overnight fisherfolks or farmers

The application forms to register for the grant became available from June 5, and Premier Fahie warned that the initiative is for persons who have been operating for a number of years and are in need of assistance.

He said the assistance for farmers ranges from supplying their need for property upgrades to acquiring tools or machinery. For fisherfolk, the assistance is for those who may be in need of new fishing equipment or boating upgrades to boost production.

“The grant is a help — a ‘hand up’ and not a ‘hand out’ because if you have farmlands and you could farm but you need a road cut, that will also be considered so that you can farm and then start to put those (produce) into the society,” Premier Fahie said.

“This is not available to overnight fishermen or farmers, meaning that you just wake up and all of sudden you are a fisherman or a farmer. You have to be doing it for a little while. There are some criteria,” he added.

Criteria for qualification

For fisherfolk or farmers to qualify for the grant, they 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 notarized 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 notarized letter verifying that they have been engaged in fishing for the last three years will have to be provided.

How to register

To register, persons can either download the electronic version of the form from online at government’s official website and email the completed form to premieroffice@gov.vg.

For a physical application form, persons can visit the Premier’s Office where assistance in completing the form will be provided if needed.

All completed application forms must include a copy of the required documents outlined in the aforementioned criteria. Applicants will be able to apply for the grant up until July 3.

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8 Comments

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  1. Hmmmm says:

    And so please dear Premier enlighten us to where presently one can go to purchase fresh fish. If this business exists then I assume that the government has an approved venue that is inspected and the fresh fish is properly maintained. In other words if you are going to encourage fishing and farming they perhaps a central market needs to be created where these people can bring their products for sale. Other wise this whole thing is another BVI idea taken from others and implemented poorly.

    • @Hmmmm says:

      These smart men and women demolished the fisheries complex without any plans of building a new one and now bragging about granting stimulus funds for farmers and fishermen, but to sell their items where? There’s no market place and no fisheries complex so apart from selling privately what means do they have? No plans at all.

      • @@Hmm says:

        The biggest scheme staring you right in the afce, but the blind has no eyes to see or is in total political allegiance denial.

        Where will fisheries, agriculture and a functioning local fishery and local market be in four years? Well some foriegn financial entity might be able to say.

        Like 2
        Dislike 2
  2. vip heckler says:

    Is this the same government who monitored the food that was given out during the lock-down period? I will rest my case here for now!

    Like 6
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    • And says:

      …the same govt monitoring locals returning who should be on quarantine but on the street hanging out with ppl. Yep this govt is great at managing things.

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
  3. Barry says:

    say you will hear. I know for sure its not only NDP going Balo. Time will tell. You say no fly by night Farmers??? check again.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  4. Rubber Duck says:

    The govt should also encourage a market building where these items can be sold. Such markets exist in almost every country and city except BVI.

  5. Diaspora says:

    Government should be accounting for every penny collected and every penny expended whether it came from taxes, fees, fines, grants, intergovernmental assistance…….etc. Every penny must be tracked from cradle to grave to ensure that it was and is being used for its intended purpose and the people are getting value for money, There must be fiduciary responsibility from the top to bottom in the public sector. Any corruption, mismanagement, embezzlement……..etc must be rooted out. Public servants cannot and should not be permitted to use their positions as passports for personal gain. Every group must be monitored, not just the farmers and fisherfolks.

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