Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, Dr Natalio Wheatley said he is hoping for success as his ministry prepares for another staging of the annual Farmers’ and Fishers’ Week.
This year’s activities will begin on Sunday, March 27 and culminate on Saturday, April 2.
Dr Wheatley said he is especially looking forward to the cultural demonstrations and exhibits from this year’s participants.
“I commend our farmers and fishers for the important job they execute in keeping fresh, healthy, and high-quality produce on our table and I look forward to being able to purchase various agricultural produce,” he said.
“I ask that patrons show support and come out in numbers to the various events planned in Tortola and the other sister Islands,” the Agriculture & Fisheries Minister added.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe stated that the ministry hopes to build on last year’s return of activities to commemorate Farmers’ and Fishers’ Week.
“This year there will be activities on Tortola as well as on the sister islands of Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke with a variety of events for the entire family to enjoy,” Stoutt-Igwe said.
Director of the Department of Fisheries and Agriculture Theodore James also said this year’s theme, “RISE: A Time for Action, Impact and Inspiration”, depicts the desire of the department to extensively promote agriculture in the Virgin Islands
James said the youth will be the focus of several activities.
“We want to inspire them to consider agriculture and fisheries as fields for prospective careers,” he said.
The week of activities begins with a message from Dr Wheatley and includes the launching of a daily profile of a farmer and fisher on the government’s and department’s Facebook
pages on Sunday. This continues for the remainder of the week and at regular intervals throughout the year.
Activities will be held on Monday at the Jost Van Dyke Primary School and on Tuesday there will be a market day and a dedication ceremony for the department’s Virgin Gorda Station.
School farm visits will take place on Wednesday and there is also a special agricultural hike for adults to Aukie’s Farm in Carrot Bay. Thursday’s activities will be on Anegada with the revitalizing of the school’s garden, the groundbreaking for the construction of a poultry pen for a school broiler project, and a site visit to the proposed lands to be used for agricultural purposes.
Friday’s activity will be a video reflection titled, “Reflections of the Heart” by Ken Pemberton.
The week will conclude on Saturday, April 2 with the Farmers’ and Fishers’ Exhibition and Market Day at Paraquita Bay from 8 am to 8 pm.
Patrons can expect a variety of local produce, foods, drinks, entertainment, educational sessions, demonstrations and displays.