Government has announced plans to sign a number of leases and contracts all aimed at laying the groundwork for the return of a thriving agriculture sector in the British Virgin Islands.
Minister for Agriculture Dr Natalio Wheatley made that announcement while speaking in the House of Assembly recently.
“We are on the verge of signing two major leases in Paraquita Bay for food production. One is for the construction of a poultry operation and the other is to build greenhouses for food production. These two lease signings indicate that food production is very much a focus of my ministry and this government,” Dr Wheatley said.
Dr Wheatley also said his ministry is working to get an additional contract signed to use their Paraquita Bay facility to help curb the growing issue of roaming of animals that are often seen throughout various communities.
He said: “We have received designs and estimates and are preparing to sign a contract to repair the pound at Paraquita Bay Agricultural Station. This will help to deal with the nuisance of loose livestock in our community.”
Purchases and repair works to strengthen infrastructure
Dr Wheatley said there are also plans to purchase equipment and conduct a number of repair works aimed at helping to strengthen the agriculture infrastructure in the territory.
The sister island of Virgin Gorda, for example, stands to benefit.
“We have identified a trailer which we will soon be purchasing to reestablish the Virgin Gorda substation, and the ministry is in the process of procuring animal weighing scales for the abattoir,” the minister stated.
“Also, we have taken steps to obtain a much-needed tractor, which will be a real benefit for our hard-working farmers. We are also repairing air conditioning units to make our valued staff in the department more comfortable and infrastructural repairs will continue in this recovery period,” Dr Wheatley added.
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