Post Hurricane Maria: Agricultural Stakeholders Plan Future of OECS Sub-regional Trade

Post Hurricane Maria: Agricultural Stakeholders Plan Future of OECS Sub-regional Trade

OECS Media Release

Friday, October 6, 2017 — Three weeks after the passage of Hurricane Maria, the devastating effects of the category 5 storm on Dominica’s agricultural sector are already being felt in the sub region.

The OECS Commission in collaboration with the Governments of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda met on Saturday, September 30, 2017 to discuss how the OECS region can support traders and farmers of agricultural produce at this important time.  

As a major supplier of agricultural commodities to the Leeward Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica’s incapacity to supply sub-regional markets has left a noticeable void.

The meeting concluded that, in the interim, Dominica’s traders would be facilitated by the southern Caribbean islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Grenada to source agricultural commodities to supply the markets of the Leeward Islands, British Virgin Islands and US Virgin Islands.

Minister of Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Saboto Caesar, noted the need for southern Caribbean islands to significantly increase production to meet the demand of these new markets. 

Honourable Arthur Nibbs, Minister of Agriculture in Antigua and Barbuda, thanked the OECS Commission for such an important and much-needed intervention.

“This response is very timely, given the recent call from the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda for increases in suppliers of agricultural commodities in the Windwards.”

Agricultural stakeholders discuss sub-regional trade in St. John's, Antigua.
Agricultural stakeholders discuss sub-regional trade in St. John's, Antigua.
Minister Saboto Caesar reviews variety of crops at a market in Dominica earlier this year.
Agricultural produce at a market stall in Dominica earlier this year.