Advancing Agriculture: Minister Ursell Arends Unveils Strategic Vision for Aruba’s Primary Sector

June 20, 2024

On June 18, Minister Ursell Arends together with Minister Geoffrey Wever shared important updates regarding the primary sector during a press conference. Their presentation focused on new practices and policy within agriculture. Minister Arends emphasizes the importance of creating a sustainable primary sector, stating that together, we will reap the future.

New Policy for the Primary Sector

Minister Arends highlighted the objectives of the new primary sector policy. The primary goal is to enhance food security and foster collaboration among stakeholders, thereby transforming agriculture into a sustainable and inclusive sector. Currently, only 3% of Aruba’s food is locally produced. The target is to increase this to 25% by 2030. However, there are several challenges to achieving these goals, including the lack of laws and regulations, insufficient contributions to food security, lack of data collection, instability, and lack of resilience. On the other hand, identified opportunities include the formalization of organizations and representation, increasing knowledge, capacity building, education, and cooperation within the primary sector. A crucial element in this transformation is the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). GAP ensures the quality of agricultural production, the responsible use of pesticides, environmental protection, and proper livestock treatment. The implementation of GAP will be phased to monitor its development within the agricultural community.

Incentives for Agricultural Commercialization

Minister Wever expanded on the financing program for agricultural entrepreneurs known as the ‘Agri Fund’. This collaboration between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Nature, and Qredits aims to stimulate commerce in the primary sector. Various businesses have received low-interest loans to aid their growth.

International Agricultural Conference

In the month of May, Minister Arends attended the ‘Dutch Caribbean Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries Alliance (DCALFA)’ conference in Sint Eustatius. This event provided valuable insights into initiatives within the primary sector across the Dutch Caribbean islands. Additionally, Arends visited Saba, where he toured various agricultural sites, including hydroponic facilities, the Saba Reach Foundation, and a building that supports local fishermen by providing storage for their materials.

Agroforestry Projects

Last Saturday, the school agroforestry project concluded. This community program established a total of 11 food gardens in schools. The goal is to teach children how to plant and harvest various fruits and vegetables, thus educating them and promoting sustainable habits.

Investing in the Future of Aruba’s Agriculture

The comprehensive strategy outlined by Ministers Arends and Wever represents a promising shift towards a more self-sufficient and resilient agricultural sector in Aruba. By addressing existing challenges and leveraging identified opportunities, these initiatives aim to enhance food security and build a robust, sustainable economy. For potential investors, the evolving landscape of Aruba’s agriculture presents a unique opportunity to be part of a transformative journey towards sustainability and growth. As we embark on this journey, we welcome investors to join us in shaping Aruba’s economic landscape and realizing its full potential as a vibrant investment destination in the Caribbean.

Interested investors should contact us at the Aruba Investment Agency (ARINA) to explore opportunities and be part of Aruba’s thriving future.

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