Agriculture Minister Reginald Austrie has said Prime Minister Roosevelt has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Serbia to improve and modernize Dominica’s agricultural sector.
In an interview with DBS Radio, Austrie said our agricultural sector has been producing the same goods for the last 40 years.
“The last time our agriculture sector received a big boost was Hurricane David, 40 years ago and a lot of things have changed and if our market conditions in Dominica have in fact changed, then we’ve been producing the same type of goods, products under the same condition for the last 40 years,” he said.
“And what the Prime Minister is referring to is that we signed a contract with Serbia,” Austrie continued. “We are going to move in a lot of greenhouse farming… a lot of aquaculture, were going to move in a lot of aquaponics. It really is the production of fresh fruits and vegetables under different conditions which will not be impacted by the change in the climatic weather.”
He said in order to keep in line with international bodies, and the new hotels and markets within the agricultural sector in the entire Caribbean region needs to be transformed.
Austrie further stated that this initiative will bring many benefits Dominica’s local market.
“Serbia is a country that has done quite a lot of work in terms of modernization in the agricultural sectors and the agreement the prime minister signed was to have them come in and sign an MOU with them and assist us in transforming the agricultural sector,” he stated.
The Agriculture Minister said the MOU will be “good news“ in terms of Dominica’s ability to continue to feed its residents.
“With this 5-star hotel, there’s no telling the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that is required on a daily basis. If we have to rely on going out there in the rain and the sun to produce those products were maybe at a disadvantage and so in an effort to take advantage of these new and emerging markets both locally and regionally, we have to modernize our agriculture.”
Austrie said this will assist the aging farmer population and the young people that are interested in agriculture and ensure better food security.