Senior personnel in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have been meeting this week to formulate a COVID 19 Food Security and Impact Mitigation Plan
A release from the Ministry said Global food systems have been severely disrupted by the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic. And, SVG has already seen its exports of live lobsters by Bequia Seafoods, a major exporter, grind to a halt.
This is as a result of interruptions in air transport between the United States and Hong Kong. Rainforest Seafoods which had scheduled a ground breaking of a multi-million-dollar state of the art processing plant in Calliaqua has postponed the event. However, construction continues in an attempt to meet the 2020 scheduled date for opening.
The Ministry said the restriction of the movement of goods and people between Europe and the United States of America and other countries and China will create a scarcity of food and possible inflation in food prices.
Yesterday the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, concluded its second day of meetings to craft the COVID 19 Food Security and Impact Mitigation Plan.
The document is being sent for the consideration of Cabinet today.
Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar said “St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a robust food production platform, which will bolster internal food supply systems, should food import availability become compromised.” The Minister, without detailing the plan noted, that, “the country can expect an intensification in the production of a basket of commodities which will mature between 4 – 12 weeks.
Minister Caesar said the Green House Park in Montreal will increase production to move into maximum capacity production. He added that the Ministry will increase its monthly targets for 2020 budgeted areas, and intensify production over the upcoming days. He noted that the Orange Hill Bio-technology Institute for example, has already increased seedling production of tomatoes, sweet peppers, lettuce and cabbage.