Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, Barrymore Felicien, has disclosed that agro-processed items and meats comprise the foods Saint Lucia most imports.
An Agriculture Ministry release quoted Felicien as disclosing it to key stakeholders.
The release said the stakeholders, including pork and ginger producers, met to examine their respective value chains and tackle the issues plaguing their sector.
“An analysis of our food import bill shows that the import of meats is only second to agri-processed foods. Among agri-processed foods, juices are the highest we see, with the import of pork and chicken being dominant,” the Permanent Secretary explained.
Felicien said in keeping with Saint Lucia’s CARICOM 25 by 25 commitment to reducing food import bills by 2025, Saint Lucia has deliberately focused on the pork value chain to reduce the imports and enhance food security.
He noted that the livestock subsector is integral to the agriculture sector as a food security and rural development pillar.
The stakeholder consultation at which Felicien spoke highlighted livestock subsector challenges.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have organised an extensive assessment of the current state of the Pork and Ginger subsectors.
In this regard, Felicien expressed gratitude to the FAO for its continuous assistance as the agriculture ministry works towards implementing the livestock development master plan and providing farmers with the necessary assistance to create a successful livestock sector.