That statement was made by the country’s Minister of Agriculture and Industry, Hon. Saboto Caesar while addressing a luncheon recently hosted by Invest SVG, under the theme “The Medical Cannabis Industry: Prospects and Opportunities”.
The event attracted persons from the private sector including banks, credit unions, manufacturers, hoteliers and farmers.
Vincentian stakeholders and investors at the event were encouraged to partner with others within the global cannabis space, to ensure the quick transfer of technology needed to obtain the extremely high standards required in the industry.
Minister Caesar, in outlining the case for local investors to invest in the emerging medical cannabis industry stated, “we have the perfect climate; our geographical location gives an abundance of sunshine all year; tried and tested rich volcanic soils; long history of agricultural production; an abundance of cheap water supply; over 1,500 farmers with a working experience in cultivating cannabis; easy to do business systems; international air and sea access; highly skilled and trained economically active age group and the product of a 17 year long education revolution that has seen thousands of Vincentians attaining tertiary level qualifications.
Additionally, the Industry Minister says, SVG’s homegrown advantages to effectively compete in the medical cannabis space are are rooted in a history of fair-trade; global gap and eurep gap quality assurance production- moving towards GMP, GAP and GPP standards; the recent ban on roundup, touchdown, glyphos and all glyphosate products; capacity for bio-pesticides, bio-fertilizer and bio-herbicide before Jan. 1 2019, in a national movement towards organic production and the discontinuation of aerial spraying of pesticide, to be replaced by ground spraying application only.
The Minister also highlighted some of the challenges for SVG as it enters the medical cannabis space. They include but are not limited to, a banking challenge-as banks globally are slowly accepting the proceeds from the industry.
Caesar cautioned that the high standards required and the global competitiveness in the industry are also crucial.
Vincentian investors, he says, and all small island developing states entering the medical cannabis industry must lift the standard of the traditional game in cannabis cultivation.