Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development Minister Alfred Prospere has urged Saint Lucians to support this country’s fishers and farmers by embracing healthy lifestyles, including a diet composed of local ‘fresh and safe’ produce.
Delivering a message to mark Saturday as World Food Day, the Minister explained that the agriculture industry is threatened.
“We are asked to make our territory food secure, but we are continuously plagued with many ills such as climate change, natural disasters, praedial larceny, and threats of pest and disease outbreaks, to name a few. Presently our producers are facing a crisis unlike any they have ever seen, encountering new threats sparked by COVID-19 while they are simultaneously facing challenges of market access,” Prospere explained.
Since the onset of COVID-19, he observed that food security had received increasing attention and prominence.
Prospere disclosed that the emphasis for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), including Saint Lucia, has been on increased local production and enhanced food systems.
According to the Minister, Saint Lucia’s agriculture sector plays a dominant role in this country’s socio-economic development. He observed that agricultural trade has been and continues to be a significant factor in determining food and nutrition security outcomes and is a key driver of economic activity.
Prospere assured that the government is continuing to focus on bananas, other crops, fisheries development, research, capacity building, marketing, agro-processing, and natural resource management to ensure sustainable livelihoods in alignment with sustainable development.
In this regard, he said the government would continue to provide support through subsidies, concessions, and incentives to allow for competitive and affordable local production and exports, to ensure food and nutrition security.
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