Compliance at the company Bayer AG, Alejandra Castro has thanked the Inter-American Institution for Co-operation on Agriculture( IICA) for serving as a bridge to facilitate the organisation of the donations in St Vincent and the Grenadines and for contributing to agriculture and rural development in the Americas.
This follows the most recent donation in late November of a quantity of seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture of St Vincent and the Grenadines(SVG), to assist with the rehabilitation of this country’s agriculture sector in the wake of the eruptions of La Soufriere in April.
That donation came from Bayer AG and was handed over by the hemispheric organisation, IICA.
Apart from the Bayer donation various types of seeds were also received from Argentina, Brazil and Chile, under the technical co-ordination of IICA.
It was the third batch of seeds to have been donated to SVG having an approximate total value of $300,000.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony on November 23, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar Minister of Agriculture said: “We are working assiduously to boost our production and increase productivity. We are grateful for all the contributions received just at the right time to enable our family farmers to reap significant benefits, thus reducing our food imports.”
A release also quotes Caesar as saying that: “This donation will allow us to ensure the food supply for our people in the upcoming months and to continue on the path to a more resilient agriculture sector in 2022. These actions should be recognised as a gesture of solidarity that should be followed and I thank IICA, because a friend in need is a friend indeed”.
In addition to the Bayer AG donation, the Ministry also received cantaloupe and watermelon seeds, as well as an assortment of vegetable seeds, namely lettuce, broccoli, Swiss chard, carrot, cucumber, corn, and tomato, among others, supplied by the Argentinean Seed Producers’ Association(ASA) and Plantec de Chile, in co-ordination with the White Helmets Commission, an agency under Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IICA.
White Helmets Vice-President, Mariana Galvani said that, “The seeds will guarantee the recovery and continued functioning of agricultural production in this Caribbean nation”, and expressed a willingness to send a mission to provide technical support in areas such as water quality and the rehabilitation of livelihoods.
According to IICA’s Director General, Manuel Otero, “We believe situations like this one call for urgent and pointed actions to immediately assist those who are most in need and to support long-term actions that contribute to building a more competitive and efficient agriculture sector. We trust that these donations coupled with human support will provide a critical boost to offer relief to farmers and to strengthen the pivotal role of the Ministry of Agriculture in the recovery efforts.”
SVG received donated seeds in August and again in October.