The ongoing Farm Labour Support Programme (FLSP), conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation and labour, over the past year, has sparked a significant change in crop production, as productivity in various areas has been recognised.
This was confirmed by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, Hon. Saboto Caesar while speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, October 19th, held at the Ministry of Agriculture conference room.
The initiative is being funded by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints while the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Red Cross is functioning as the budget holder for the fund.
Minister Caesar said over 100 persons are employed under the programme, deployed in various teams throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Minister said it is vital to outline the importance of having multiple streams of production to ensure food security, as he announced the establishment of a backyard agriculture initiative as the final stage of the programme.
Caesar said an assessment of the Farm Labour Support Programme, was conducted one month ago. He indicated that a link was provided to persons involved in the assessment to participate in a backyard agriculture pilot programme. The Agriculture Minister noted that participants in the pilot programme will be provided with seeds from the Agricultural Input Warehouse, and in the process, a formal agricultural supply chain will be organised through the mobilisation of resources.
Minister Caesar said the next phase is expected to impact positively on livelihoods in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as it will coincide with a national backyard gardening project scheduled to start in January, 2024. Minister Caesar also used the opportunity to thank the SVG Red Cross and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture to provide support to farmers.
In his remarks at Thursday’s press briefing, Opreth Sutherland, spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, expressed his excitement with the Church’s role in the initiative and its benefits to farmers. Sutherland said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints remains committed and stands ready to help the government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
President of the SVG Red Cross, Alston Anderson also shared his elation with the collaborative effort to provide support farmers in regaining their livelihoods. The SVG Red Cross President also praised the leadership of Minister Saboto Caesar for ensuring the success of the programme thus far.
SOURCE: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour