St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has already seen its exports of live lobsters by Bequia Seafoods, a major exporter, grind to a halt as global food systems are being severely disrupted by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rainforest Seafoods has also postponed the scheduled groundbreaking of a multi-million dollar state of the art processing plant in Calliaqua due to the pandemic. However, construction continues in an attempt to meet the 2020 scheduled date for opening.
The restriction of the movement of goods and people between Europe and the United States of America and between other countries and China will certainly create a spatial scarcity of food and possible inflation in food prices.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, yesterday concluded its second day of meetings to craft the COVID-19 Food Security and Impact Mitigation Plan. The document will be sent for the consideration of Cabinet for subsequent approval.
Central to the functioning of the plan is the administrative role of the Internal Food Security Council (IFSC) – expected to be comprised of senior technicians in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry, and commercial stakeholders in the value chain.
The plan is expected to touch from backyard gardening to commercial-scale production.