MP Grisha and MP Sarah suggest Permanent Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry

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”Grow what you eat, and eat what you grow”

PHILIPBURG, Sint Maarten — MPs Grisha Heyliger-Marten and Sarah Wescot-Williams are proposing that Parliament establishes a Permanent Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Animal Husbandry. In a press release issued on Sunday afternoon, MP Heyliger-Marten explained the reason for this initiative.

“I have always been, and will remain a proponent of being as self-sufficient as possible, be it as an individual, an organization, or a nation. This goes for generating sufficient finances, as well as for producing what you consume and need to survive. As such I have sent a number of suggestions to Government over the past years related to our financial-economic viability and food security as a nation.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry is a sector which merits support and development from both the private and public sectors in any nation. St. Maarten is no exception. On the contrary, the sector has laid the basis for the society that we live in today as one of its most important economic sectors. And despite the fact that times have changed and continue to change, growing what you eat and eating what you grow”, should remain an ambition for any nation and society”, according to Heyliger-Marten.

She stated that during the past months, she has been approached by persons working in the agriculture sector. Having carefully listened to their concerns and suggestions, and after having consulted with colleague MP Wescot-Williams, decided to send a joint proposal to Parliament.

MP Wescot-Williams concurs: “Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry remain an important economic sector in our view. And while there is an agricultural policy on the books, the unimportance of the sector to this government is evident from the lack of organizational  structure within the ministry under which this sector is supposed to fall, namely TEATT.”

“In our view, this sector deserves support from several Ministries. Not in the last place, from the Finance Ministry, that should see to it, when we speak of promoting SMEs, that the sector of Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry is well represented.”

While MP Heyliger-Marten and I will continue to champion the issues we hold dear in the current Parliament, it must be noted that Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry is one of the 10 Focus Areas in the DP’s manifesto 2023/24. Like a red thread throughout the DP’s draft manifesto is the emphasis on collaboration and inclusion”, MP Wescot-Williams stated.