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Food Safety

by Dickson Igwe
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Dickson Igwe, socio-political columnist

All nations depend on outside countries to fill in crucial links in their supply chains. The preceding is at the core of modern day globalization. However, when crises such as war and natural disaster strike, there is a sober realization that a level of national self -sufficiency is wise. Food especially is a key driver of national security. 

Now for all the election gimmicking and pontificating this Old Boy needs to hear the most important matter of all concerning these Virgin Islands from the next generation of leaders. When will the country achieve full food sufficiency?  What is the timeline?

OK. External supplies from the UK and USA kept bread on the table and a roof over the head, after. Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2016. Had there been no external intervention, these islands may not be back to normal today. Why? Because we did not have the self-sufficiency to fix the supply chain, on which we all depend.

Further, afield, the west, especially the USA and UK are aware of their dependency on adversarial nations for the existence of their own economies, markets and social existence. This dependency is critical but dangerous. 

A driver of western inflation has been the disruption in the supply chain since the start of the Ukraine War in February 2022. Ukraine’s grain is critical to the food supply of many countries. Most can recall the steep rise in petrol prices the war heralded.

However, food is a central driver of inflation for a small country such as the Virgin Islands.

A food sufficient Virgin Islands will spur higher employment, new businesses, and greater national security. Food sufficiency will further drive greater health and wellbeing for residents.

Then there is opportunity cost. For every cent spent on local produce, that is cash invested directly in farming and employment. A great percentage of what we all spend is on food and drink. When we produce these for ourselves, we create greater internal economies of scale.  The more we produce the lesser the cost of production and this passed on to the consumer.

Organic food, food that avoids a high degree of processing is attractive to consumers for obvious health reasons. At restaurants, which cater to the Virgin Islands Travel Industry, organic food widely available is an additional draw.

Consequently, factor in food sufficiency when you go to the polling booth on April 28.

Which politician possesses a vision and is dedicated to achieving this most important of policies in the coming months? That politician should receive your X.  

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe is an education official in the Virgin Islands. He is also a national sea safety instructor. He writes a national column across media and has authored a story book on the Caribbean: ‘The Adventures of a West Indian Villager’. Dickson is focused on economics articles, and he believes economics holds the answer to the full economic and social development of the Caribbean. He is of both West African and Caribbean heritage. Dickson is married with one son.


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