On the evening of Thursday 12th at the Multipurpose Cultural Centre the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs held a Farmer’s Consultation with the Crop and Livestock farmers in Antigua. Presentations were given by National Specialist for the International institutions the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Craig Thomas who informed farmers of the technical support which they give to farmers. Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) representative, Paul Lucas also presented on the responsibility of CARDI and the support in which they give to farmers in Antigua and Barbuda.

Other presentations were given by Emerald David of the Statistics Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture, Chief Extension Officer, Owolabi Elabanjo who spoke on the need for farmers to from Cooperatives and Farming groups.  In addition, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Hon. Samantha Marshall gave brief remarks on the importance of farmers and the goal of the Ministry of Agriculture in increasing food security and productivity within the country.

Farmers from the different agricultural districts were given a platform to express their concerns and give suggestions. Some of the topics touched by farmers were; praedial larceny, lack of equipment, lack of support from the Ministry, increasing prices of certain inputs such as; fertilizers and driplines, suggestions on how to deal with the lack of water for production, competition with imported foods.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs hopes to host another Farmer’s Consultation soon to address not only the crop and livestock farmers but fisherfolks and it is hoped that a separate consultation would be held in Barbuda.

The Ministry thanks all those who came out and supported especially those farmers who would have voiced their concerns and even given suggestions to certain problems they are facing. The entire Ministry pledges to continue to do its part in supporting the farmers of Antigua and Barbuda.