STATEMENT BY MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, CULTURE, YOUTH AFFAIRS, FISHERIES AND AGRICULTURE
HONOURABLE NATALIO D. WHEATLEY
TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019
UPDATE ON THE STATE OF THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES
Mr. Speaker I thank you for opportunity to address the people of the Virgin Islands. Allow me to update the public on the state of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Two weeks ago, the newly appointed Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Theodore James, was appointed. I congratulate him for this advancement in his public service career, and this serves as a further testament to this government’s commitment to provide opportunities for young people. His appointment took longer than I expected, but I am grateful that he is now in the position to lead the resurrection of the agricultural and fisheries sector.
Since being appointed Minister of this subject, I recognized the need for policy support in the Ministry, and I am, therefore, pleased to announce that Tessa Smith-Claxton will progress from her former position as Acting Director of Agriculture and Fisheries to Assistant Secretary in my Ministry with responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries. Her knowledge and skills will be invaluable to me as we rebuild these vital economic sectors.
Having now appointed a Director and having firmly established policy support, I can begin to engage farmers and fishers on key issues in this revitalization mission. I will first meet with Farmers, and they can expect for us to engage on a number of issues, including water, conditions for the use of crownland, investment in the sector, regulating both crop and livestock, opportunities for investment in the sector etc, coordination of crops, marketing of produce, among other things.
Fishers can expect a similar meeting closely following the meeting with farmers.