EU-funded Park with 16  greenhouses opened at  Montreal
June 29, 2018
EU-funded Park with 16 greenhouses opened at Montreal

Government officials are calling on the youth to become more involved in the agricultural sector.

And they believe the newly constructed greenhouse park at Montreal in the Marriaqua Valley is one step in this direction.

finance minister, Camillo Gonsalves

“The establishment of this greenhouse facility is welcomed at this time. I expect that it will rekindle the spirit of our people, especially the younger ones in a more scientific way,” said St Clair Prince, the area representative, at a ceremony on Monday. “I’m hoping that while it concentrates on production, it will also do some teaching so that farmers in this area will learn the best practices and implement them on their own farms.”

The park, which is funded by the European Union, houses 16 greenhouses and a building equipped with cold storage facilities and office space.

It is one of the larger projects under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM), a project designed to encourage diversification in countries that were affected by the loss of preferential trade agreements.

Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar

In his address, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that young people have the potential to make a “good and decent living out of farming.”

And he encouraged those that receive training to consider helping to manage and work on facilities like the greenhouse park.

“It is important that this laboratory, that when we turn out persons, they don’t all line up by the ministry of agriculture looking for work at the ministry of agriculture to do administrative work,” the prime minister said.

Gonsalves said that the entire project cost more than EC$6 million and that good public and private partnership was needed in helping to run the park.

Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar said that the greenhouse park can help to address issues related to reducing hunger, undernourishment and securing overall food security.

“The establishment of a greenhouse park signals to our nation and to our people the seriousness of producers in the public and private sector to address the issue of national food production.”

He also said that the country should always aim to produce products of high quality, as there is an organic market available for local farmers to explore.

The country’s finance minister, Camillo Gonsalves also expressed similar sentiments in his remarks.

Speaking from a financial standpoint, he said that agriculture’s contribution to the country’s economy has grown over the last six years.

“We don’t intend to leave agriculture behind. We intend to work in this new dispensation to make agriculture more profitable to work just both for people and for the businesses of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said.

Daniela Tramacere, the head of the delegation of the European Union in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

The finance minister also spoke of reducing food imports, adding that hotels can use the greenhouse park as a source of local produce rather than importing goods.

Daniela Tramacere, the head of the delegation of the European Union in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean said the park was a representation of the the government’s vision of reviving the Vincentian agricultural sector.

She explained that solar panels were on their way to be installed on the park and the soil used would be from the most fertile parts of St Vincent.

She further expressed her anticipation for the greenhouse park to produce high quality seedlings and vegetables that will satisfy both internal and external food demand.
Seedlings have already been planted in some of the greenhouses.

The shells of the greenhouses have been constructed but are not yet covered because of high wind conditions.

It is expected that they would be covered soon.