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SVG to intensify agriculture diversification

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Over the next three years, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will intensify its efforts to diversify the agricultural sector.

These efforts will be spearheaded by the Agricultural Diversification Programme Implementation Unit (ADPIU) which was set up in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for the purpose of reorienting and modernizing the agricultural sector to make it more sustainable and responsive to changing national and international circumstances.{{more}}

On Tuesday, in a media briefing at the Ministry of Agriculture, the ADPIU brought the nation up to date on several initiatives, already underway, which seek to improve socio-economic conditions in rural communities.

According to Project Manager, Ashley Caine, there has been investment in irrigation, the procurement of tractors and implements, the implementation of a comprehensive arrowroot industry improvement project as well as the promotion of private and public sector partnerships such as the coconut water bottling plant which was opened at Congo Valley in June, 2005.

The project will take a multi-pronged approach to achieving its goals. It will address the marketing of agricultural products, improvement in the technical capacity of farmers, research and development, infrastructure and credit systems, environmental management and land use practices, value addition to local produce, legislation and institutional arrangements and improved community linkages.

The project will be funded by the European Union from STABEX 95, and 96/97 allocations totaling over EC$11.3 million, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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