Ministry Of Agriculture Sets House In Order Ahead Of Possible Storm

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The Ministry of Agriculture held a meeting earlier today at its headquarters, to ensure that all departments and divisions have plans in place ahead of the storm/hurricane forecasted to have some effect on Antigua and Barbuda.

Disaster Focal Point for the Ministry, Marcelle Freeland chaired the meeting which attracted key staff members from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs and key partner organizations.

Permanent Secretary, Mr. Colin O’Keiffe underscored the importance of the meeting and the need for effective communication as the farming sector is usually vulnerable to storms based on past experiences.

Freeland reiterated the importance of putting the necessary measures in place to safeguard the ministry’s assets both in the field and at the respective offices.

Acting Director of Agriculture, Mr. Gregory Bailey said that he has already touched base with all the agricultural stations who have reported that they are taking the necessary steps that are usually required during this period.

He said that he is awaiting feedback from the other divisions regarding the status of preparation.

The Veterinary and Livestock Division said that is on an educational campaign so that livestock and pet owners can be aware of what to do during this time. She stressed the importance of having adequate water, food and safe holding areas for animals for the period of the storm.

The Fisheries Division said that the various landing sites are on top of things and are following procedures with the guidance of information from the Met office.

Also, Barbuda too is taking all the necessary measures and has posted the latest information to all concerned in the agriculture sector, regarding this development.

CARDI’s representative, Mr. Paul Lucas and IICA’s Representative Mr. Craig Thomas, who were also present at the meeting, agreed that although it’s a ‘wait and see approach’ at the moment, they are confident that their organizations will have the capacity to assist the farming community if the need arises.

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