A large number of persons involved in fishing and farming locally have responded positively to the government’s plan to stimulate the food and agriculture sector in the BVI.
Agriculture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said he was unable to provide the exact number of respondents but said was pleased with the response so far.
“The response to the economic stimulus for the fishers and farmers has been both overwhelming and enthusiastic. A great deal of persons have called the Department of Agriculture to register their interest in participating in the programme,” he said.
The Minister said the Agricultural Department has already commenced its assessment and collation of information from these agriculture workers. This includes information about their particular needs.
He said an inter-ministerial task force will be activated to render assistance.
“After all the information is collected, the task force, comprised of individuals from the Premier’s office, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Agriculture, Fisheries, Youth Affairs, & Sports, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the fishing and farming industries will evaluate the requests and make recommendations for grants, which will be paid directly to suppliers on behalf of fishers and farmers,” Dr Wheatley explained.
Government pumping $ into sectors
Earlier this month, the government announced that it was pumping $2 million into ‘The Rapid Response Fishing and Farming Production Programme’.
“It means that this funding programme will be used to purchase the supplies, among other areas, necessary to get our fisherfolks back in the water. It means that this funding will be used to purchase the needed supplies to get our farmers back on their grounds. And access to this funding means that we will ramp up production and provide the local market with the food necessary to sustain ourselves in this Virgin Islands economy,” Dr Wheatley explained at the time.
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