Director of Trade pushes for agriculture

Participants at the workshop
Participants at the workshop

Director of Trade in the Ministry of Employment, Trade, Industry and Diaspora Affairs, Wellsworth Bethelmie, has said that development of the Agricultural sector will reap benefits for the economy in Dominica

Speaking at a two-day workshop geared at strengthening and upgrading all Agriculture Health and Food Systems (AHFS) in the OECS, Bethelmie stated that a strong sector will create jobs on the island.

“Having a strong agricultural sector would mean that jobs would be created, economic status of the small islands would be uplifted but most importantly also is having healthy food, plants and animals. AHFS is for us to look at what we are currently doing to develop that sector,” he said.

Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Helen Royer, said the workshop testifies to the commitment and willingness to improving health and food safety, which is a global issue of concern.

“The availability of safe food improves the health of people and is a basic human right. Safe food contributes to health and productivity and provides an effective platform for development of poverty alleviation. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the health risks posed by pathogens and potentially hazardous chemicals which plague food,” she noted.

She added that to achieve regional support national commitment is necessary. “Food grown in one country can now be transported and consumed halfway across the world since people demand a wider variety of foods than in the past. Agriculture cannot do it alone neither can health do it. The integration of both plant, animal and health and food safety, needs to be synchronised to yield a positive outcome” Royer said.

The project is also geared at encouraging greater participation of the private sector and the sensitization of key stakeholders in the operations of the AHFS while strengthening institutional and administrative capacity in their operation and management.

Other objectives of the workshop include, sensitizing the public and private sector participants on the importance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and AHFS systems to trade, discussing a framework of collaboration and support for implementation of the OECS AHFS programme and discussing improvement of legislation, protocols, standards, measures and guidelines in the area of AHFS and Fisheries for national and regional SPS regimes.

The workshop, which will end on 14th May, is being attended by officials and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Health and Employment, Trade, Industry and Diaspora Affairs.

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  1. 22 year old farmer
    May 16, 2013

    these ministers of gov have no interest in organic farming or farming on a whole. They give no support to to farmers or youth in agri,I can tell you that because I have tryed,n all they do is talk.

  2. Anonymous
    May 15, 2013

    We need an agricultural policy to guide Dominica in its commitment and willingness to improving health and food safety. There is a DRAFT policy for how many years and it cannot be finalize nor endorsed by government. What does the Ministry of Agriculture have to say on the issue?

  3. hmm
    May 14, 2013

    am glad that they are finally getting it through thier mind that argriculture is even a better industry to go into develop our country they should have never drastically change into tourism …agriculture needs more support a lot more is needed to be done our imports will decrease if we produce more and also our exports will increase thus making dominica become more develop …hope the government listerns and make a wise choice support agricuolture lets develop dominica

  4. Gary
    May 14, 2013

    What the Director of Trade said is not new as this has been repeated many times,Governments have come and Governments gone and today the Agriculture sector is still not where it should be or even progressed.I have always asked my self why this is so and who is to blame.Is it The Governments,Farmers,The People and Politics I think all the above share some responsibility for the failure.Here we have a Country we boost about which is blessed with all the things needed for a vibrant Agriculture Industry but yet still we have not nearly nor max the Potential of this Industry.

  5. Senior Citizen
    May 14, 2013

    When will the talk stop and the action begin?

  6. objective
    May 14, 2013

    Agriculture should have been always on the front burner of our economic thrust, with other industries for example torism complementing. guest who had us thinking otherwise, “the 1st world countries”, “WTO”….etc. They drived us into more fragile industies so that we can become weak, dependant and controled. We most rethink and start develloping and making use of our natral and human resources.

  7. jah bless
    May 14, 2013

    its about time really.
    Get back to our roots. its going to be a struggle but with determination and a very very good strategic plan we can do it.
    Am 100% on board.
    Too much cancer, imports, debt.etc etc

  8. Truth be told
    May 14, 2013

    Just do it! Zort pa las parlay?

  9. Vex
    May 14, 2013

    Seriously, what kind of technical officer is that? There is not one statistic as Director of Trade you can share to indicate to the public the bright prospects of agriculture.

    As the DT you should have these figures ; you , the Director of Agriculture, and DEXIA Boss should spend more time out of you all air conditioned offices and meet farmers and convince them.

  10. William Mc Lawrence
    May 13, 2013

    Enhancing the Agricultural Sector in Dominica is very critical since Agriculture is a very important part of and contributor to economic activity and foreign exchange earnings creating employment for many.

    I do hope that the sector has an integrated and effective policy and strategic plan on agricultural development which not only addresses public health and environmental management concerns but also food safety, food security, shipping/transportation and marketing/ quality/ quantity/ consistency/ variety/ value to ensure competitiveness on the local and foreign markets

    Why do we need to have such of high food (meat) import bill when we can develop the fishing sector to satisfy the local market 100%… The same is also true for poultry (broilers/layers), pork, fresh water fish (tilapia) and fowl eggs… In general the live stock farming sector… Also greater emphasis should be placed on green house farming… :wink:

  11. Mr. Farmer
    May 13, 2013

    We have lost a whole lot of folks who have had little to do with agriculture for over a decade. No love, no commitment,…… They have basically lost the feel for agriculture. Do you all think it will be easy to get the “lost decade of supposedly agricultural workers back”….. Very few young boys and girls under 30 years have feelings to go back to the land…. I WISH THE DIRECTOR OF TRADE Good Luck.

  12. truth offends
    May 13, 2013

    I agree with you 100% Mr. Bethelmie. I am convinced that our bread and butter God gave us is agriculture and nothing but well managed agriculture will turn our fortunes around in Dominica. We have the water, the fertile soil, and we have the hard working people we need to take advantage of the needs of the world; all we need is a government that understands that and willing to make it a priority.
    However, I do have one request Mr. Bethelmie: seeing you are from vielle-case, just as the PM, Mrs. Royer is from Penville which is the backbone of Mr. Skerrit, in the Vielle-case constituency, and another young man by the name of Heskieth Brumant who also is from V/case and he echoed similar sentiments two weeks ago, why don’t you all meet with the PM and advise him on the benefits of agriculture. Maybe he might listen to you all since he doesn’t seem to want to listen to anyone else.

  13. Nice
    May 13, 2013

    I love it! I am on board. Let’s go back to being the sustainable island that we once were. :-D

  14. Faceup
    May 13, 2013

    DNO that story is very boring, I cant even critizise.

    • simplicity
      May 14, 2013

      But what the r#$c*&t !!

      My dear I sympathise with you and the other who gave a thumbs up.SMDH

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