Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar, says Vincentians must prepare to eat more locally produced food this year.
According to a release from the Ministry, Minister Caesar said, with the reduction in the demand for many local products on the export market, there is no option but to reduce imports, by supporting local producers.
He further noted, that this call has been made before, to “buy local”, however, the present negative resultant implications of COVID 19, demand a more targeted approach in achieving the goal of increasing local consumption. He noted that while a large percentage of locally produced food is consumed locally, the current food import bill is in excess of 100 million dollars.
Minister Caesar said, in the upcoming weeks, the “Commodity Approach” to production will be discussed with all food producing and marketing stakeholders. He noted there is a need for for greater alignment between producers and markets; and the current Extension Service structure in the Ministry of Agriculture does not efficiently advance that cause. Hence, the technicians in the Ministry are currently addressing all possible amendments.”
The Agriculture Minister said he is confident that stakeholders will be able to take maximum advantage of supplying for the growing tourism sector. He concluded that the construction of several hotels, and the opportunity which is within touching distance of having scheduled direct commercial transatlantic flights, will all provide significant opportunities for producers in SVG.