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‘Greenhouses to produce food by year end!’ – Hon Pickering

- Department of Agriculture to be restructured
The greenhouses located in Paraquita Bay. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering said despite the criticisms of the greenhouse project, it is intended that they see the production of food by the end of this year. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering said despite the criticisms of the greenhouse project, it is intended that they see the production of food by the end of this year. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Pickering said that together with addressing the greenhouses the Government will restructure the Department of Agriculture. “The current model focuses on operation as opposed to regulation,” he said. Photo: ultimatebvi.com
Hon Pickering said that together with addressing the greenhouses the Government will restructure the Department of Agriculture. “The current model focuses on operation as opposed to regulation,” he said. Photo: ultimatebvi.com
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering said despite the criticisms of the greenhouse project, it is intended that they see the production of food by the end of this year.

He was speaking during the Second Session of the First Sitting of the Third House of Assembly yesterday July 6, 2015 during the period for Statement by Ministers.

The Minister said that experts this year visited the greenhouses to conduct a technical audit of the facilities and found the structural integrity of the greenhouses to be in excellent condition and that the electrical system needed to be connected to the grid. But they also found that the fogging system, thermal screen and covering and irrigation systems have deteriorated and must be replaced.

Hon Pickering said that together with addressing the greenhouses the Government will restructure the Department of Agriculture. “The current model focuses on operation as opposed to regulation.”

Food security

The Minister said that the development of the agriculture industry is important in the territory’s push towards food security.
“However there is a need to recognise that times have changed and there are many challenges facing this industry and thus we must employ appropriate strategies that will mitigate those challenges.”

He also said that the development that the territory has seen over the many years has brought with it a demand for more food and that it might be difficult to conceive that the territory once exported sugar, cotton and other agricultural products to the United States Virgin Islands and other places.

“Madam Speaker those were the days but we are now faced with new realities. Climate change and the negative impacts thereof have forced us to alter our perspective on current issues,” he said.

Noting that while it is difficult to prognosticate the effects of climate change on agriculture, Hon Pickering said it is certain that the frequency and severity of droughts due to climate change pose serious challenges to farmers, making it difficult to grow crops and raise animals.

200 plus farmers in VI

“The effects of climate change will undoubtedly impact agricultural production negatively and force us to adopt a technological model of production and abandon even though not entirely some of the antiquated methods of farming.”

He said that there are some 200 plus farmers who in varying degrees continue to produce crops and livestock and saluted them for their dedication in the face of challenges.

The Minister noted that without adequate rainfall farmers will be challenged to continue in the industry and said that these challenges have not gone unnoticed.

“The Ministry and the Department of Agriculture have embarked on assisting the farming community in these difficult times. Specifically we have contracted with individuals to deliver water on farms as well as install pipe to get water to more remote areas on Paraquita Bay. We have also purchased water for farmers not located in the Paraquita Bay area. Within the past year we have expended $42,500 assisting our farmers.”

Hon Pickering said that if the territory is to truly improve food security the focus cannot be solely increasing production but on increasing productivity in the sector.

13 Responses to “‘Greenhouses to produce food by year end!’ – Hon Pickering ”

  • ccc (07/07/2015, 09:10) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    We heard this before...
  • political snitch (07/07/2015, 09:33) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    This been said every year for the past 5 years.
  • WTF (07/07/2015, 10:37) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    That is great news, because I went to two supermarkets on Sunday and the provision bins were empty. So it will bring relief and some food independence, but I don't believe it. We'll see.
  • facts man (07/07/2015, 10:54) Like (6) Dislike (14) Reply
    he cares nothing about farming just about the cays and dem rich white friends
  • Hmmm (07/07/2015, 11:05) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply
    After they bashed the green houses and willfully did not utilize them during their last term.
    • Local (07/07/2015, 12:40) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      Green house is the best way to grow fruits and vegetables we do not get rain like before plus most of the young people is not in to planting so the only way for the BVI to get fresh supplies to sustain the people is the green house the same NDP were bashing for three and a half years the dog turn back to the vomit.
  • ABC (07/07/2015, 11:11) Like (4) Dislike (15) Reply
    The more things change the more they remain the same. Promise after promise to deliver a seven thousand foot run way and nothing happened. Mark has taken control of Aviation and now we are going to have a new and improved Agriculture Authority with consultants knocking you down and a Green House project that will satisfy all the needs of the BVI if not the Caribbean as a whole. I believe that the environment in Long Look is beginning to affect his capacity to think in a rational manner.
  • Ears (07/07/2015, 13:15) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    good thing at-lease he is addressing the people`s concern. unlike that health minister. Nothing from him to correct his problems. totally ignoring the majority of the people
  • sticket (07/07/2015, 18:54) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Kerdick got u all to study?
  • voter (07/07/2015, 20:10) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    recycled ideas and recycled promises.
  • traveling (07/07/2015, 20:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The man have to travel a lot to be able to make sure the territory don't get left behind. The district may suffer a bit but it does not mean that he have neglected it. People the bigger picture is that he no longer serve the district but the entire territory. So don't be to hard on the man he is human just like you and me . I think he is trying his best its not easy to be on a plain constant.



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