Dominica’s over dependence on imported food should be addressed government Senator Jahisiah Benoit has advised.
While contributing to the 2018/2019 post budget debate on Thursday 26 July 2018 he said, “Madam Speaker, Maria should have taught us many lessons, but most of all it should have taught us that over dependence on food imports to meet our needs as a population is a challenges we must now address frontally.”
Food security, he added, has to be a priority secondary to education, climate change and climate resilience.
“Food self-sufficiency…should now be the focus and driving force behind our agricultural, fisheries and livestock sector.”
He said while the island may never be able to produce all the raw or processed food items that residents love to enjoy, enough agricultural crops, livestock and fish to feed the nation for an extended period of time following the passage of a storm can be produced.
“This is the resilience that we are speaking of Madam Speaker, generating through the investments in agriculture as a result of this budget. So I wish to commend this government for all it has done to support the agricultural sector post Maria and for the allocation of some 27.2 million dollars to further boost the agricultural sector.”
A large amount of these resources will go towards two major transformational projects as described in the budget address, he said, namely enhancing national resilience and food security project and building resilient food supply through more resilient applications project.
“I’m looking forward to see the components of these projects be implemented to the benefit of the livelihoods of people involved in the fisheries and agricultural sector,” Senator Benoit stated.