Excerpt From Ministerial Statement – Hon Saboto Caesar Agriculture Minister
The creation of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ COVID 19 Food Security and Livelihood Impact Mitigation Initiative, is a critical element of the Government’s multifaceted response to the unfolding Corona virus pandemic.
The overarching goal is to continue to alleviate the direct negative economic impact to stakeholders through the provision of support to farmers and farmworkers, agro-processors and fishers to:
- Maintain the nation’s food security by ensuring the continuity of food production;
- Sustain smallholder farmers’ and fishers’ livelihoods;
- Increase the productive capacity to take advantage of potential strategic investments as the opportunities emerge, to safeguard existing markets, to compete effectively in future global markets, and to reduce the food import bill.
The program comprises of the following:
- Producers’ Care Program – This refers to the ‘Love Box’ initiative and the soon to be established ‘Care Packages’ plan which will focus on backyard gardening.
- Small Fisher Fleet Expansion – the advertisement for tender I am advised has been completed;
- Fishing gear – the distribution will begin in the up-coming week.
- Fertiliser -Inputs And Other Implements – a shipment of 4,000 sacks is expected by the end of the month to June.
- Seeds And Seedlings 200,000 vegetable seedlings already distributed; 40,000 pineapple plants, 1,000 citrus and 5,000 Ackee now ready for farmers;
- Animal Distribution (Livestock Revolving Program;
- Tractor Service (Land Preparation Equipment Services) – has started;
- Sea moss industry support is a priority; and
- Poultry assistance will be available starting from next week