BVI News

Laws being updated to establish a statutory body, marketplace for agriculture and fisheries

  • Coconut farmer

Plans are in motion for the implementation of a statutory body to function as, among other things, a guaranteed market for fish and agricultural produce.

Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said establishing the body would be just one of the initiatives to be done as legislators work on updating the existing laws for fishing and agriculture.

“Our agriculture legislation had not been modernized in many years, and so we wanted to update that and, of course, agriculture and fisheries combined not too long ago, so the legislation has to reflect that,” he said during a conference on social media Wednesday.

Dr Wheatley said this new statutory body would “separate the function of the Department of Agriculture as a regulator” and provide “extension services and other types of services to farmers”.

He further said the body would also offer some level of subsidy for fisherfolk and farmers and “deal mainly with the business of agriculture”.

The minister said this entity would also be responsible for purchasing quality produce directly from farmers and fisherfolk.

“This body can then form a direct link with the restaurants with the hotels, supermarkets.”

Dr Wheatley, in the meantime, said a modern facility to serve as a fishing/farming market is also to be constructed.

“We are finalizing a location, finalizing design plans,” the minister stated.

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  1. Not the future says:

    The oceans are already empty. You think you will get anywhere by promoting fishing?

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  2. HLSCC says:

    Mr. Minister this is a public appeal for you to look into the oppressive grading system of the HLSCC. Their system is oppressive, degrading and demoralizing for the students. I do not know who are making these decisions but if a student get 95% on a test and that equates to an (A Minus) something is wrong. Can you imaging a student can only get an (A) if they score 100%. It only takes someone with a little common sense to know that this is wrong and there can be no justification for this oppressive grading system. Don’t tell me you have people with masters and doctorate degrees up there and this is the grading system they can come up with.
    Mr. Minister please, please look into this immediately. So if a student get 65% does this means that the student has failed the course and will have to repeat. Come on. This system need to be rolled back and applied to student grading from last year. With this system only the brilliant student will be able to get into universities overseas. The bulk of any cohort of students are generally B student. But under their system, students will only get a B if the score 80-90%. So your average student will be relegated to a barely passing C grade which severely limits their access to overseas universities.

    Please make this a priority Mr. Minister.

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  3. Our Eyes are on You says:

    Mr Minister, while you are looking at the HLSCC issue, please take a look at the sewage connections already installed at the HlSCC property with nothing running into it.

    When are you going to free East End / Long Look with that sewage heartache?

    Are you going to continue that fail sewage plan like your predecessor? Please Mr. Minister, Please we need to know your plan. You said sometime ago that work should start by June 2020, are you on schedule to start in June. Please we need to know. Thank you sir.

  4. When? says:

    When will daycares and preschools be allowed to reopen???
    When will elementary schools be allowed to open?
    When will secondary schools be allowed to open??

  5. Diaspora says:

    The BVI is a resource-poor territory of a mere 59 square miles dot in the Caribbean Sea, spread over 36 islands, with a huge trade deficit and with an approx 30,000 population, economy heavily weighted on tourism and financial services. IMO, there are too many statutory bodies and many of the current statutory bodies are ineffective.

    Statutory bodies are generally established to perform specific functions which a government considers effectively performed outside a traditional departmental executive structure. Though government has oversight over statutory bodies, they generally should have some operational independence from government.

    However, in the VI, political influence is rampant, preventing the bodies from functioning effectively, bodies stacked with political cronies. A quid pro quo situation is going on, i.e., be a loyal party supporter and the reward can be a position on a statutory body. And with a change of government, all the old members are replaced political cronies of the new government and the merry-go- round continues. Bodies continued being replaced,, the territory loses in growth and development, national productivity……..etc.

    Moreover, agriculture and fishery are misplaced under the MEC; it needs to be its own ministry or in a ministry where it is not a fifth wheel. Furthermore, agriculture and fishery do not need to be no statutory body; another statuary body is just another non-productive place for political cronies to dress and go to rest. It needs to be just a well-structured department with effective and experienced leadership with strong technical knowledge. The lead person can be titled Commissioner of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources.

    Undoubtedly, Covid-19 exposed the VI vulnerability of having to import most of its food. Resources permitting, the VI should produce as much food as practical. This practice will reduce the food import bill, create employment and a multiplier effect in the economy and enhance the food security posture. Government needs to develop and codify a comprehensive agricultural and fishery strategic plan of action with milestones.

    • Quiet Storm says:

      @ Diaspora, “The lead person can be titled Commissioner of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources.” Lol. Another fancy title with little or no outcome. By the way, ain’t statutory bodies supposed to be self-supporting with non-appropriated funds? How will agriculture and fishing be funded to be self-supporting? Are they going to be taxed to Sage Mountain to pay for managerial ops.?

      Agriculture is not a measurable service like water or electricity? It is vital to and benefit all VI residents so just keep it in the general fund. It is on CPR so just breathe some life into it.

      A statutory body is a farce and losing proposition. You intellectual folks with nuff alphabet soup letters before and after your names are just book smart but lacked the practical art and experience of applying all the theory learned sitting in an air conditioned classroom or online. The BVI political system is flawed big time, putting people in charge of stuff they don’t know the difference between their a..s or elbow about or they don’t know pallet from fowl.

  6. Fish says:

    Id love to be able to shop for fresh caught fish if theres a permanent place, time, product

  7. OKay says:

    Statuary bodies and non-accountable and non-productive/non-producing contracts and other schemes titled “initiatives” seem to have become modern day mechanisms of redirection of public purse to private accounts and cronies.

    Why ae so many feeling and thinking this way about current economic management? But, those kinds pf activities are never for public comsumption, except in rare cases.

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