Agriculture Minister, Ezechiel Joseph, says a vibrant tourism industry is necessary to provide a reliable market for Saint Lucia farmers.
Joseph explained that the local market is small.
According to the Minister, as a result of COVID-19 a number of people are into backyard gardening.
He said this means that the local market is getting even smaller.
Joseph noted that some people feel Saint Lucia should forget about tourism and concentrate on feeding its citizens.
But the Minister contended that Saint Lucia is feeding itself.
However, he told St Lucia Times that the challenge now is affordability and not availability.
“The issue might be affordability because a number of persons have lost their jobs because of the COVID situation,” Joseph stated.
He explained that the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry is affecting this country’s ability to market agriculture produce.
“We have farmers over-producing,” the Agriculture Minister noted.
“We have farmers driving all around trying to sell eggs, trying to sell their vegetables,” Joseph asserted.
“It’s because the hospitality market has shrunk since we experienced the COVID situation,” he disclosed.
Headline photo: Agriculture Minister -Ezechiel Joseph (Stock image)