Sint Maarten’s Policy on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries approved and available on Government’s website

December 15, 2022 10:08 am

PHILIPSBURG – On November 23rd, 2022, The Council of Ministers approved St Maarten’s first ever National Agriculture, Livestock, and fisheries policy presented by the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT). It is now available for review under the policy and reports section of Government’s website.

The National Agriculture policy has the primary objective to strengthen and secure food security on Sint Maarten. It serves as a blueprint for the advancement of agriculture, livestock, and fisheries with the view to make agriculture a sustainable contributor to the health and economic development of the people.

The policy was developed based on government’s commitment to sustainable action, with contribution drawn from government, development partners, farmer organizations and civil society organizations. It provided the re-affirmed need for an urgent transformation as the country faces multiple and interconnected challenges in food and nutrition insecurity, limited and low agriculture output and rising food imports. Data shows that for the period 2014-2018 food imports increased from NAF 5.89 to 13.74M.

Agriculture makes up a very small share of Sint Maarten’s economy and the advancement of agriculture and agri business is an ideal prospect for complimenting the island’s primary economic pillar, the tourism industry, through the green, blue and orange economies. The ten (10) year policy roadmap proposes renewed forms of agriculture towards sustainable food and land use systems, livestock and fisheries management including investments in key infrastructure for greater and more sustainable impact.

The policy builds on ongoing initiatives and explores strategic projects by the Ministry of TEATT, designed to stimulate interest, capacity building and create awareness of the sector. These include the agriculture in schools project, support of the local farmer’s market and enlisting agriculture as a priority sector for investment. The policy also highlights significant potential for strengthening market linkages and scope for farmers, fishers, and agri-food businesses that are in line with current best practices and technologies. The agriculture policy represents a key development milestone that, better positions Sint Maarten to respond socio economic and developmental needs.