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No timeline set for use of greenhouses - Brathwaite

There has been no timeline set for the use of the greenhouses located at Paraquita Bay. Photo: VINO
Chief Agricultural Officer, Bevin Brathwaite, revealed that there had been administrative issues that had to be dealt with regarding the greenhouses at Paraquita Bay. Photo: VINO
Chief Agricultural Officer, Bevin Brathwaite, revealed that there had been administrative issues that had to be dealt with regarding the greenhouses at Paraquita Bay. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Chief Agricultural Officer (CAO) Bevin Brathwaite has revealed that there was no timeline in place for the activation of the greenhouses located at Paraquita Bay.

The greenhouses, which sit on roughly eleven acres of land at the Paraquita Bay location, have been in place since 2011 but have been going through an extended phase of development that was suggested to have been completed during this year. With the end of year quickly approaching it now remains to be seen whether this will be the case.

When approached by this news site recently about a completion and activation date for development of the greenhouses, CAO Brathwaite said “no timeline has been set”.

Mr Braithwaite further revealed that, “there had been a few administrative issues that had to be dealt with regarding the greenhouse” but did not feel inclined to offer any additional details as to what these administrative issues might have been.

The greenhouse project, which is a brainchild of former Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Omar Wallace Hodge, had initially faced stiff opposition from farmers and several concerned resident, who had argued that the project would affect the livelihood of farmers.

In an interview done in late 2010, Hodge had pointed out that the Territory’s import bill for food was extremely high and stated that with mass production of several cash crops, fresher produce would be available to the community.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Ronald Smith-Berkeley had announced that an audit would be conducted for the greenhouses and disclosed that moving forward, the Ministry needed to have a better understanding of what happened and “where we are financially”.

When approached recently CAO Brathwaite expressed, “to my knowledge, I’ve been informed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour that they’re eighty per cent concluded [with the audit] and there are plans afoot to move the project forward in the not too distant future.”

Previously, President of the Farmers on the Move agricultural group, Mr Khoy Smith, had announced that PS Smith-Berkley was reportedly approached by the group and had made a gesture of granting one of the greenhouses for use next February.

Speaking on the television show “Speak Your Mind” last September, Smith had said Government did not stand to lose by promoting the two industries of farming and fishing and he encouraged persons to engage in agriculture.

“A lot of people would not have to go to Government begging for a job but going into the agricultural industry could make you an entrepreneur and owning your own business,” Smith said, adding that, “this is a benefit to Government.”

However, when asked by this news site about who would be able to utilise the greenhouses, CAO Brathwaite said a determination hadn't been revealed to him at this time.

12 Responses to “No timeline set for use of greenhouses - Brathwaite ”

  • small head (29/10/2012, 07:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    These green houses have more questions than answers.
  • Queen Mary (29/10/2012, 08:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank goodness my tax dollars is not goin to waste
    • Observer (29/10/2012, 18:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The Minister needs to step up and provide a more definitive policy on the greenhouses.
      After the NPT fiasco, he may be reluctant to step into another perceived disaster from the previous govt, but with some proper planning, the greenhouses can be a success.
      Please don't give / lease / rent to Khoy and Edmund, or else the taxpayer's dollars will be wasted.
  • Voter (29/10/2012, 11:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I could rent a space in one?

    I only want about 3,000 square feet or so to grow some tomatoes and lettuce. I ain't greedy.
    • rat tail (29/10/2012, 13:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      forgive "voter" they were dropped repeatedly on their head as a child?
  • @@@@@ (29/10/2012, 14:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    is going green the same as green houses????
  • HHH (29/10/2012, 15:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There's nothing wrong with utilizing technology & advanced modernized agricultural techniques for increased production. But too often we move fwd with no plan & only a strong conviction that what we are doing is right.

    We already wasted the time & money into these overly expensive greenhouses on prime land, when the greenhouses could've been put anywhere b/c you're not goin to be planting directly into the earth as I understand. Regards if they are or aren't, the solar light is there the growing medium is there so it only takes seeds, fertilizers and patience now. It's not that difficult people have been doing this sinc eb4 recorded history.

    A serious mistake is made if the thought was that this has to be aeroponically or hydroponically done, it doesn't. But the greenhouse at least will protect from the violent UV light range & from pests & blights and maintain a stable growing environment.

    To go all hydro or aero raises the cost unnecessarily at this time for a nonguaranteed yield esp with these herbs etc not neceassarily being cash crops.
    • farmer brown (29/10/2012, 17:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Sounds like a whole lot of confusion, and shows a lack of discipline and commitment on doc pick
  • ABC (29/10/2012, 19:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Braithwaite is wrong, there is a time line for the use of the Green Houses; as soon as government comes up with the money to fun the farmers and that is never very.

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