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Farmers on the Move President ‘overwhelmed’ at Agri Tourism response

- says initiative offers another business side to agriculture in the Territory
President of Farmers on the Move, Mr Khoy Smith, seen speaking with the first group of Tourists that opted to take the 'Agri Tourism' on offer in the Virgin Islands. Photo:VINO/File
PARAQUITA BAY, Tortola, VI – Farmers on the Move President, Mr Khoy Smith was overwhelmed and surprised at the response of the first batch of ‘Agri Tourists’ that came to the island this past week.

“The Initiative,” he explained, “is about letting the Territory know that there is potential in the industries that they have, [there are] resources that they can use to maintain a stabilised economy – one of those industries here is agriculture.”

He also felt that it was helpful to know that when we look at agriculture we, can be able to put another business side to it in the form of Agri Tourism.

“This would help to keep the economy going,” he added, “by helping to maintain employment, food security and other similar areas.”

Mr. Smith was overwhelmed and expressed surprise that the tourists received the project so well, “It was really a blessing for us,” he said, “we want to thank God for the experience… we feel that we can do much [with the project].”

When asked what effect the initiative would have on the group, the Farmers on the Move President noted it was just a matter of going back to the table to solicit additional land from the government to take the project to a new level. “We need to follow up on the land request that we made earlier in the year after the workshop… and that’s the next step for Farmers on the Move,” Mr Smith said.

The group has also set its sights upon a portion of property that is currently not being used on Beef Island for further agricultural development. He explained that the group had already solicited for temporary use of the land but was unsure of what type of feedback might be received. He was hopeful for a positive favourable response.

The plot of land at Paraquita Bay previously acquired by the group is now being regularly harvested and there are crops of ochro, corn and beans being grown there at the moment, he disclosed.

Meanwhile, one of the members of the tourist group, Sheryl Hart, explained that her home State of Oklahoma was in a severe drought at the moment and felt it was always interesting to observe how other cultures and countries grow their crops and see what their main diets are.

She was also keen on observing the differences in livestock rearing between the Virgin Islands and Oklahoma State, noting that there was a lot of sheep rearing here while Oklahoma was predominantly dependent on cattle farming.

Her brother-in-law, Cedric Gardener who lives in Texas, was also excited about the opportunity to see the deeper relationships that existed within the Agriculture industry in the Virgin Islands. “My wife and I are interested in seeing more than just the gift shops… more interested in substance,” he revealed while adding that it gave them the chance to have a better understanding of the people and their culture in the Virgin Islands.

He was critical of the fact that many tourists were immediately greeted by jewellery shops as soon as they got off the ships and described this as very superficial. “It has nothing to do with the Virgin Islands,” he added.

7 Responses to “Farmers on the Move President ‘overwhelmed’ at Agri Tourism response”

  • ok (29/12/2012, 11:41) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Really?
  • Greenman (29/12/2012, 13:45) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fantastic Khoy this is the Real BV,good Job
  • bigger picture (30/12/2012, 12:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    If you want tourists to understand culture and heritage, they need to be exposed to it. congratulations on such a wonderful idea! As they said, they did not want to go on the tours organized by the ships. This is part of the exploration people like to do. that includes long bay beef island. they don't need anything fancy.
  • wet well (30/12/2012, 13:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    heck of a job khoy
  • Awesome Initiative (02/01/2013, 22:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Khoy, I am so impressed and proud of you and Farmers on the Move for this initiative Please see how best to expand in terms offering salads and dishes from locally grown produce as well as growing a herbal garden and offering tourist bush tea and juices under a shaded tree.


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