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‘We need to build agri & fisheries industries together’- Dr the Hon Wheatley

‘We need to build agri & fisheries industries together’- Dr the Hon Wheatley

During the celebration of farmers and fishers this week, it is the hope that much emphasis will be placed on the need to build the local agriculture and fisheries industries together.

Farmers & Fishers Week is being observed in the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) from Sunday, March 27 to Saturday, April 2, 2022.

‘We must work together’- Dr Wheatley


According to Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), the Week’s theme ‘Rise - A Time for Action, Inspiration and Impact’ is guided by the principle that we must work together to inspire action and make the greatest impact.

“As we showcase the hard work of our farmers and fishers, we hope to inspire others to join the movement towards a more self-sufficient Virgin Islands,” Dr Wheatley said in a statement on Sunday, March 27, 2022, to launch the week of activities.

‘VI imports majority of what it consumes’


Dr Wheatley said there was no need for him to emphasise how important it is for Virgin Islanders to be more self-sufficient, as it is clear how easily the territory is affected by what takes place beyond its borders, as the VI imports the majority of what it consumes.

“It is also clear, that we cannot control or even influence these external changes and must therefore put our efforts into our internal growth while building healthy partnerships with those in our region and even internationally.”

He said careful investment and support for developing the local farming and fishing industries is necessary to build and further develop a well-structured, resilient and accountable food system in the Virgin Islands.

“As our population increases and our health, social and economic challenges become more complex, we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone is able to access healthy, life-giving food and fishers and farmers are able to build profitable industries that support them and their families, while contributing to our local economy.

Healthy food is essential for healthy communities and a healthy Virgin Islands. Access to healthy food is central to physical and mental health, minimal spending on health care and overall good quality of life.”

Food expresses VI culture


Dr Wheatley also said food is also an expression of the VI’s cultural heritage, noting that he is always amused by the tart wars, especially at Christmas time.

“Some islands in our Territory are even known for niche foods, for instance currimole fish and guinea corn from Anegada; rice porridge or steamed fish with boiled sugar apple on Jost van Dyke; boiled chicken in galvanise sauce in North Sound, Virgin Gorda; and boiled sugar apple and pigtail on Tortola, and of course our territorial dish of fungi and fish in mayonnaise sauce, which we hold as delicacies.”

The Agriculture Minister said Government also recognises that a healthy and diverse resource base is essential to the local fishing and farming industries.

“Healthy, rich soils free of harmful chemicals and vibrant disease-free marine ecosystems supported by our collective consciousness of careful use of our natural resources will ensure that these industries grow and thrive.”

Support Farmers & Fisheries Week- Dr Wheatley


Dr Wheatley said his Ministry is looking forward to the public’s full support of the week-long activities on all four of the major islands – from Anegada to Jost van Dyke.

He also encouraged the public to look out for daily features of farmers and fishers and other activities on the Government of the Virgin IslandsFacebook page.

During the celebration of farmers and fishers this week, it is the hope that much emphasis will be placed on the need to build the local agriculture and fisheries industries together.


Farmers & Fishers Week is being observed in the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) from Sunday, March 27 to Saturday, April 2, 2022.

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