BVI Government Information Service
ROAD TOWN, Tortola (GIS) — “The future requires innovation but it also requires food.”
These were the sentiments expressed by Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE in delivering remarks during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Farmers’ Week on Friday.
As he spoke, Premier Smith invited young people to share their views on the agriculture and the types of resources they need for further involvement in the sector.
“Computers cannot grow sweet potatoes but, perhaps by using them, we can encourage our young people to take a second look at agriculture as a business or, at least, as a means of growing their own food”, he said.
Urging the Chief Agricultural Officer and his team to continue their dialogue with the young people about their views on agriculture, Premier Smith added, “Ask them what they need and want in order to get involved and then bring it to us. Let’s see how we can make farming work for them and for our community in our new economy. Let’s listen to our young people, while exposing them to new ideas for agriculture.”
Additionally, Premier Smith commended the Department of Agriculture for its various initiatives over the years to garner interest in the agricultural sector. These include school gardens and best Young Farmer of the Year.
He noted that the Department of Agriculture also offers marketing advice; and highlighted the efforts of the BVI Tourist Board in promoting BVI agriculture to visitors through farm visits, and through the use of locally grown produce and other local products in hotels and restaurants.
BVI Farmers are also being urged to join forces with the Department to revive and sustain the Territory’s strong agriculture tradition among the young people and the coming generations.
The annual Farmers’ Week Exhibits showcases the diversity of the agricultural sector within the Virgin Islands. Spearheaded by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Farmers’ Week is being held from February 7 to 14, 2014 observed under the theme; “Youth in Agriculture is a Necessity to Strengthen Food Security and Sustainability”.