BVI News

Young locals encouraged to look at agriculture as ‘viable career path’

Seventh District Representative Dr Natalio Wheatley.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Dr Natalio Wheatley has been encouraging young people in the territory to get involved in the agriculture and fisheries sector as he said it is a viable career path and an always-ready market for the goods produced.

Speaking at the Virgin Gorda Agriculture and Fisheries’ Station Market Dedication and Exhibition Day on Tuesday, Dr Wheatley noted that for several years prior to the hurricanes in 2017, the Farmers and Fishers’ Week was stopped.

“I don’t know what the justification could be for stopping it because one of the most important aspects of Farming and Fishing Week is the youths, the young people, the schools. I want to thank the schoolteachers and principals for bringing these young people here because agriculture, farming and fishing will never be successful if the young people do not grab hold of them,” Dr Wheatley said.

“So, I am talking to you specifically students today, computers cannot grow yams and food does not grow in a can. The tuna fish you get in a can are caught from the sea and we have the capability of doing it,” the Fisheries Minister stated.

Dr Wheatley further said he questions the thought process of people who do not see farming and fishing as viable career options. He said people must eat no matter the circumstances. The Agricultural Minister also said from the beginning of time, in the Garden of Eden, people were farmers and fishers.

“You can’t go without food for too long because it is a viable career,” Dr Wheatley said.

The Agricultural Minister made reference to Ukraine and acknowledged that the country is referred to as one of the breadbaskets of Europe.

“When you people are speaking about the cost of living and the price of shipping going up most times you are talking about the supermarkets. What does that tell you? Someone is making a lot of money from food. From selling food but we are not the ones making that money,” Dr Wheatley stated.

“We must reverse that trend. As opposed to importing 90 per cent of our food, we must get to the point where we are producing 90 per cent of our food and it is important to make a start. You can’t do the 90 per cent at one time. You must start at five per cent then move up to 10 per cent and then to 15 per cent. Then you keep going and take it as far as possible,” the minister added.


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  1. dr with the turn page says:

    please do yourself a favor and come out from under the gazeebo.

  2. Jim says:

    Nice words, but try getting the youth of today to stop gaming, looking at their phones, or even getting out of bed to do anything. Much less manual labor.

  3. Poli.Farmer says:

    Really SHOWwonde? When you have young Farmer Caul STRUGGLING to create success within the industry? Still having to beg for ayo support? Just because the Poli.farmer does rant for him?


    You better go deal with farmer Caul and strengthen your morals as a minister before encouraging something you cannot maintain!

  4. Gentleman Farmer says:

    Perhaps the Hon. Minister should set an example to youth by picking up a hoe-pick and heading for the hills before dawn to labour for eight hours. and show youth the hard work needed to produce a bag of sweet potatoes

  5. wow says:

    pure old talk

  6. Realist says:

    You killed whatever chances there were for agriculture when you gave away stimulus grants to people who do not fish or farm.

    Real agriculture workers got little or nothing. You think the young people will listen to you now?

    Like 5
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  7. TurtleDove says:

    Come again!

    “You can’t go without food for too long because it is a viable career,” Dr Wheatley said.

  8. Sick says:

    Nowhere have you heard any of these people talk about what it really takes to have agriculture on a level where we are self-sustainable. It’s not about a one man farmer or fisherman, it will take a proper, organized lot to get it on that level and lots of money as well.

  9. adina donavan says:

    I wonder what he did with Doug because I haven’t seen him in a while?

  10. Young locals reality check says:

    Are running around the North Sound in $1M powerboats, wearing Gold, Gucci & Ice and throwing around cash like they are in Happy Tappy on a busy Saturday night.

    The 3rd pillar is going very strong but this pillar ain’t nutting to do with fishing and farming..

  11. Youngling says:

    BVI independence doesn’t sound viable to me as someone who has a long life ahead of them, what steps have you taken to ensure that we as a people can stand on our own? This just doesn’t seem like a good direction to stand behind, if we do gain independence and it looks like its not going to work out I need to start my life somewhere else.

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