Kingstown SVG: April 20th, 2016 – The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Transformation, Forestry and Fisheries launched its 20 Point 100 Days Plan on Monday April 18th at the Ministry’s Conference Room. The objective of the Ministry’s 20 Point 100 days Plan is to develop the agricultural sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation, Hon. Saboto Caesar said that it is important that the Ministry come up with a creative and strategic plan. “This plan must not only be the voice of the Chief Agricultural Officer and it must not only reflect the intentions of the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture but it must be an all-encompassing approach taking into consideration all the factors that we face here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”, the Agricultural Minister added.

He noted that they must draft a creative plan which is current and one which seeks to advance and promote the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, always remembering that the stakeholders, the farmers, the fisher-folk and the forest users must be considered to ensure that their livelihoods are protected. Caesar pointed out that the 20 point 100 hundred days plan was written after consultation with all stakeholders and have taken into consideration current trends locally, regionally and internationally. “We had a lot of input from international and regional organizations and we harnessed that information and today it is our view as a ministry that we should pen 20points in a 100 days plan which will clearly articulate the way forward over the next 100 days,” Agriculture Minister said.

He pointed out that many of the issues in the plan were articulated at the last sitting of the National budget and documents from the Department of Economic Planning have informed a significant portion of the document. Caesar added that many of the works done by the technicians brought to St. Vincent and the Grenadines by the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) have factored all the information into the plan.

He noted that although the Plan has 20 points it can be broken down into 9 main areas. Some of the main areas of the Ministry of Agriculture’s 20 point one hundred days Plan are a vigorous national consultation with farmers, traffickers, fisher folk and forest users on issues of increasing and improving production; reform on the administrative and technical structures of the ministry; further capital injection by Petro Caribe into the Farmer’s Support Company; preparation for the cultivation of 250 acres of new banana field in 2016; the Diversification of the Tissue Culture Lab; work with the Zero Hunger Committee to ensure that food production systems make food available and accessible.

The plan will also enhance the decentralization of veterinary services to serve farmers at all agricultural stations and the assignment of personnel to coordinate with the Diversification Officer for the increased production and exportation of cattle to Grenada and other OECS Member States and small ruminants to Trinidad and Tobago. The 20 Point 100 Days Plan which was launched on Monday April 18th will follow through until Wednesday July 27th, 2016. At the end of the 100 Days Plan, a medium term strategy will be implemented over 2 ½ years.

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