July 15, 2011
Caesar – Agriculture will remain the backbone of the economy

Minister of Tourism and Industry Saboto Caesar intends to work closely with the Agriculture industry in order to diversify the tourism industry.{{more}}

Speaking to media during a press briefing, Caesar stated that in some countries, the Tourism sector has developed at the expense of the agricultural sector. He added however that will not be the case in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Tourism is the transformational sector, but agriculture will forever be the back bone of the economy,” Caesar said. He further explained that though tourism will bring in greater foreign exchange than agriculture in the short and medium term, agriculture will employ more persons and will have a greater impact on the economy.

Caesar stated that persons within the agriculture field will be needed greatly in the Tourism sector especially after the completion of the International Argyle Airport when it is expected that there will be an influx of visitors to the country.

Caesar added that with an increase in visitors, there will be a greater demand for food, which the agriculture sector will provide. He added that his ministry intends to work along closely with the agriculture industry in this effort.

Also speaking on the plans for the Tourism industry for the second half of the year, Caesar stated that there will be additional development of the 14 recreational sites throughout the country. Caesar stated that the sites today are better than they have ever been in the history of the country. He added that the ministry will work along closely with the National Parks, Beaches and Rivers Authority to ensure that the sites are fully operational. He added that vending booths at the sites will be handed over to persons soon, while other aspects such as the opening and closing hours of the sites will also be looked at. The sites will also be available for weddings and other events.

Caesar also mentioned that during the second half of the year, a ground breaking ceremony for the Hospitality Institute at Diamond is expected to take place. The institute, he said, will produce skilled persons and not only cater to Vincentians but for persons within the region as well.(OS)