Press Release

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Release Date:
Tuesday, 19 March 2024 - 1:46pm

Junior Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Honourable Dr. Karl Dawson says the Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to the principles of food security and sovereignty and will ensure there is a greater capacity for food sustainability.

Honourable Dawson said several initiatives are in place to bring to fruition the Virgin Islands Food Security and Sustainability Act; the resulting statutory body, the Virgin Islands Agriculture and Fisheries Marketing Authority, the provision of a reservoir for agricultural purposes at Paraquita Bay and the development of the agricultural complex.

Honourable Dawson said, “We are in the process of developing the comprehensive plan for agriculture and fisheries in the Territory. This process has been informed by public meetings with farmers held since I assumed responsibility; relevant documents, such as the Virgin Islands Sustainable Development Plan, the Blue Economy Road Map, regional initiatives, as well as the work plans established by the Department of Agriculture.”

The plan he stated will bring together the various elements into a singular document that can guide the sectors. This will be completed in the second quarter of this year, including consultations with stakeholders around the proposed plan.

Dr. Karl Dawson added,” We are also working on long-term and short-term solutions for farmers surrounding water, particularly at the Paraquita Bay Farms. The reservoir project continues on track and more resources are being deployed to address the issues around the distribution system”.

The Junior Minister further stated that he sees brighter days ahead for agricultural production as the Government continues to address water issues, making more land available for farming, building a stronger community among those producing in the sector, and building more support in the form of training.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is responsible for ensuring food is safe, nutritionally sound, produced and harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner that builds resilience to internal and external shocks while contributing to the economic growth, social well-being and protection of the natural environment.


Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740