Minister with responsibility for agriculture Dr Kedrick Pickering has said the government has now made monies available to address the post-hurricane issues facing the local fishing and farming communities.
In December, almost three months after the hurricanes caused considerable damage to all sectors including the aforementioned, Dr Pickering had told residents in Carrot Bay that fishing and farming were not a priority.
Dr Pickering said at the time that agriculture workers would likely have to wait until the second quarter of this year before they receive any form of financial aid to jump-start their trade.
However, the minister announced this week that plans have changed and farmers and fisherfolk will not have to wait that long.
“When I was here [in December] we had discussed some issues pertaining to fishermen and the farmers. I can now report that the Premier has made some monies available in those two areas,” he said.
“So, with respect to the dock and other issues… you can go and get some things done and then we can make some progress.”
The minister did not specify how much funding was available, nor did he provide further details.
Pickering was addressing concerns from a resident in the fishing village of Carrot Bay on Monday.
The resident said a dock that was installed in the village before the hurricanes had been destroyed. He further pleaded for a quick fix to the problem.
“It is very dangerous how it is now,” the resident said at a public meeting on government’s proposed recovery plan for the BVI.
Disasters devastated agriculture
The hurricanes had wrecked several local fishing boats and levelled farmlands by wiping out crops and livestock, as well as destroying poultry coops and animal pens.
The minister explained back then that funds allocated to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour — under which agriculture falls — are being used to retrieve vessels that sunk during the hurricane.
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