St. Vincent and the Grenadines exports of Agricultural goods have continued uninterrupted to Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Leeward Islands, in spite of closed borders for persons travelling between some member states of Caricom.
The Minister of Agriculture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has called his colleague, Minister of Agriculture in Trinidad and Tobago, Clarence Rambharat, “a hero”. He is a “Hero for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.”
Minister Caesar explained that over several days they connected the dots across Ministries, public servants, boat agents, boat captains, traffickers, wholesalers, and retailers, to ensure that food security was maintained.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines WhatsApp chat group of traffickers set up by the Ministry of Agriculture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, erupted with praises to God, when news arrived that the Admiral Bay Vessel, taking food from St. Vincent and the Grenadines had successfully offloaded.
The Captain noted that, “it was not business as usual, a lot more protocols, so we waited and then we were allowed to move the goods. No person was allowed off the boat as agreed. New rules and we will comply.”
Minister Caesar thanked the farmers and traffickers who trusted that the new system will work. He noted that, “we are still on a week by week shipment, but we are going into the third week now and it has been successful. COVID-19 brings fears and challenges, but the resilience of our people will endure.
I am shattered yes, but I am not broken. We are the children of Joseph Chatoyer and Duvalier, and most of all we are the children of a true and living God, who will not allow us to be consumed. We will take all the precautions, but we will not allow COVID-19 to cripple us.”
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has exported over the last month – livestock to Grenada, and root crops throughout the OECS, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados.