Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley has said that initiatives including building a market, improving land space usage and providing water to farmers are on the front burner to enable a thriving agriculture industry in the Virgin Islands.
Dr. the Honourable Wheatley was at the time meeting with the staff of the newly renamed Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to get an assessment of the current state of the sector.
Honourable Wheatley said every effort will be made to ensure the department excels. “Agriculture is going to be moving forward and we have been putting the structures and elements in place to ensure that it happens,” he said, adding “There are also some other initiatives that we are going to do to make sure that we have a thriving agricultural industry.”
The minister expressed his gratitude to the staff and leadership team for their support and further encouraged them to continue to give of their time and expertise to policy creation to achieve advances in the department and the sector.
Honourable Wheatley assured the staff that they will be fully engaged in the work to improve the agricultural sector and extended an invitation for their suggestions on ways in which the ministry can help improve its services and standards.
The department is now headed by Acting Director, Mr. Theodore E. James who thanked the minister for his support and meeting with his staff.
Mr. James added, “We recognise you have a vision and you too have high standards. With this, we will come together with the farmers and fisherfolk to chart the journey together in bettering the fisheries and agricultural sector.”
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries aims to ensure that food is safe, nutritionally sound, produced and harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner that builds resilience to internal and external shocks while contributing to economic growth, social well-being and protection of the natural environment.