The Government of the Virgin Islands in its continued commitment to ensuring stakeholders are engaged, is tackling the conversation of food production sectors in the Virgin Islands. The aim is creating a progressive and sustained industry through the support of legislation.
The meetings are with stakeholders in farmers and fisher’s industry are as follows:
Meeting with fisher folk – Monday, January 31 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. under the Elmore Stoutt High School Tent at Lower Estate or log onto webex using the link: https://bit.ly/MeetDOAF1.
Meeting with farmers – Wednesday, February 2 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. under the Elmore Stoutt High School Tent at Lower Estate or log onto webex using the link: https://bit.ly/MeetDOAF2.
Meeting with Stakeholders – Thursday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m., LIVE on Facebook @BVIGovernment or @GOVIDOAF
In his Speech from the Throne on Tuesday, January 18th, His Excellency the Governor Mr. John J. Rankin, CMG stated that Government will introduce the Virgin Islands Food Security and Sustainability Bill, which revises and consolidates most of the Territory’s agriculture and fisheries legislation.
The Government of the Virgin Islands has also set a mandate to review and modernize existing agricultural and fisheries legislation to establish what they call “a harmonized framework for the sectors.”
Rankin said, “This Bill will establish the Virgin Islands Agriculture and Fisheries Authority to be the lead support in the future development of the agriculture and fisheries industries in the Virgin Islands.”
The Governor stated that once the Virgin Islands Food Security and Sustainability Bill is enacted, Government will begin consolidating and revising the regulations to support the primary legislation.
“This is necessary to develop sustainable agriculture and fisheries to support the needs of the people of the Virgin Islands and further strengthen the tourism sector, supermarkets, restaurants, and the cruise and yachting industries,” the Governor said.
Meanwhile, Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable, Natalio D. Wheatley said he was grateful to introduce his first Bill and is thankful to the officers at the Ministry and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for their hard work which has gotten it this far.
Honourable Wheatley stated that the Government of the Virgin Islands recognises the importance of food security, the livelihoods of farmers and fisherfolk and the opportunities in education and tourism that these sectors present.
“In order to move agriculture and fisheries to significant levels, Government will strengthen linkages to the tourism industry to create new jobs and business opportunities for our people while sustaining our culture and providing food security.”