by Linda Straker
- Importation of livestock from St Vincent in keeping with bilateral agri-export agreement
- Veterinary and Livestock Division responsible for granting importation permits
- St Vincent is largest exporter of livestock in OECS currency union
The Ministry of Agriculture in Grenada said that its decision to allow the importation of livestock from St Vincent and the Grenadines is in keeping with the clauses of a bilateral agri-export agreement which permits trade between both OECS member states and at the same time meets the anticipated demand for meat for the upcoming festive season.
“The ministry acknowledges that the Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines provides for the trade between both islands in livestock and agricultural commodities, in a bid to enhance trade in commodities, originating in member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),” said a statement from the ministry. “In keeping with the provisions of the MOU, the Ministry of Agriculture will not seek to restrict trade, but it has an obligation to protect local farmers and to ensure that food safety requirements are met, in accordance with the regulations governing the importation of animals.”
The statement explained that the ministry is committed to protecting the local industry. “The Ministry of Agriculture recognises that there is a shortage of livestock in Grenada to meet the demands of the festive season. Therefore, a permit will be issued for a quota of animals from St Vincent. The Ministry of Agriculture through the Veterinary and Livestock Division is responsible for granting permits for the importation of livestock and meat products into Grenada.”
The statement issued through the Government Information Service (GIS) pointed out that efforts are being made to resuscitate the livestock sector. “As part of its efforts to resuscitate the livestock sector, the Ministry of Agriculture will develop and implement a livestock policy; introduce new genetic stock at the Laura Livestock Station; strengthen the small ruminant programme at the Limlair Livestock Station in Carriacou and reintroduce the artificial insemination programme among other ongoing initiatives.”
St Vincent and the Grenadines, according to the OECS secretariat is the largest exporter of livestock in the OECS currency union. On 17 November 2019 Grenada will be receiving its largest ever shipment of livestock from St Vincent and the Grenadines, which was negotiated by local businessman Jude Jack.
This export valued at EC$0.5 million will be the largest single shipment of animals from St Vincent to Grenada. Since the establishment of the agreement over $10 million worth of products have been traded on that platform. Efforts to confirm the year of the agreement were unsuccessful.
St Vincent and the Grenadine’s Food and Agriculture Organisation Strategic Framework for 2010-2019 identifies sustainable livestock production as an objective. Data from the Central Statistical Office in Grenada said that besides St Vincent, Grenada also imports thousands of pounds of beef and pork from Canada and the USA.
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