Hon. Saboto Caesar, Minister of Fisheries in St. Vincent and the Grenadines made a clear call to Banks and Credit Unions to support the expansion taking place in the Fisheries sector.
“The opening of the Argyle International airport has established new connectivity to international markets, thus providing an opportunity for the sector to secure greater returns,” Caesar said.
“The growth though exponential, has much greater prospects if our banks and credit unions, would be more open to lending our fisherfolk a lot more to invest in the sector” he added.
“It is easier to obtain loans for motorcars and weddings, than to do business in the fisheries sector geared at economic growth,” was the response of a participant in this year’s Fisherman’s Day activities.
The Minister emphasised that, with the $20 million dollars demand to be created in 2020 by RainForest Seafoods; increased demand from Bequia Seafoods; Mark Jacobs operating in Owia; and other exporters, that the sector required greater capitalisation, especially in the area of purchasing larger vessels to explore the high seas.
Many are of the view that the fisheries sector is seeing its greatest expansion of all times. It was in this regard, that the Minister made a renewed call to all Banks and Credit Unions to do more.
The Minister concluded by asking fishers to participate in the OECS Agricultural Competitiveness Project which will be making a call for proposals from 17th June, 2019.
This project will see assistance in the form of grants to several fishers at different levels of the value chain in the industry.