Minister Omar Ottley during the press briefing on Wednesday.
PHILIPSBURG--The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) is looking into different sources for food should a pandemic-related shortage affect the country.
Substitute Minister of TEATT Omar Ottley provided the information in response to a question during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday. TEATT Minister Roger Lawrence was not present.
The question was posed on whether there were any concerns about potential food shortages affecting the country given the quickly rising number of Omicron cases around the world, and its effects on employees calling in sick in particular businesses in the food industry, coupled with the shipping issues being experienced worldwide. He was also asked what St. Maarten is doing to combat any such potential future shortage.
“Definitely all around the world we notice that there are issues with shipping,” the minister said. “We were presented not too long ago by the Ministry of TEATT with various options on how we can import food. We talked on the safety aspect, of course, depending on where we get sources from that’s where I come into play – the inspection will be done on what is imported, but definitely this is something that was brought to the attention of the Council of Ministers. We understand the logistics, we understand the increase, even in pricing of food because of the problems that we have with shipping. The Ministry of TEATT is indeed looking into different sources, looking within the region, as well as with different countries and islands that benefit off agriculture and see what type of relations we can create to then pool our resources together within the Caribbean region to benefit the island.”