The Ministry of Agriculture empathizes with the entire tri island state, as this country contends with the effects of COVID-19, and wishes to inform the public of the formation of its COVID-19 National Food Security Mitigation and Response Plan, geared at bringing a level of relief to farmers and other stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector and by extension the entire population.
This plan, which is a collaborative effort by the Ministry, MNIB and other stakeholders, highlights the impending impact of COVID-19 on the country’s food security and mitigation efforts to increase production and productivity within the Agricultural Sector.
As a result of this pandemic, food security has become a major priority as consumers have recognized the need for a more secure domestic food supply, and a food supply chain that is less reliant on imported food.
As such, the COVID-19 National Food Security Mitigation and Response Plan will provide relief through the following activities:
- The implementation of a restructured Farm Labour Support Programme to establish 200 acres of staple food crops and vegetables, in collaboration with commercial farmers.
- Provision of agriculture inputs for small-scale and backyard farmers.
- Guaranteed market access through the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB).
- Provision of support to livestock farmers to stabilize costs of production.
- Provide support to fisherfolk and exporters.
- Provide support to Agro-processors.
- Provide support to the GCNA, GCA and other Farmers’ Organizations and Associations to protect farmers’ livelihoods.
Major outcomes would include:
- Provision of a sustainable supply of fresh produce and agro-products
- Development and implementation of an Agricultural Produce Pricing Policy
- A reduction in the food importation bill
- Creation of short-term employment over the implementation period
- Development of a collection and data sharing framework among Sector Stakeholders
NB: Given the protocol governing social distancing, the Ministry will be rolling out an online application process shortly. Individuals without such access, will be provided with the necessary assistance.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands remains committed to the successful implementation of the COVID-19 National Food Security Mitigation and Response Plan.