A Message from
Positive T. A. Nelson
The Virgin Islands of the United States (USVI) have rarely been communities existing in isolation. From their original inhabitants, through the purchase of the territory by the United States, the islands have traditionally played an essential role in maritime activity due to their central location in the Caribbean archipelago. The history of the Virgin Islands is one that many Caribbean islands know well; and is an agricultural tale of indigenous people, colonizers, and slaves that has shaped the current landscape of economic development.
Since our settlement in the early 1500s, agricultural activities have remained a cornerstone of the local and regional economy, and while agricultural production has declined in recent years, the industry is poised for a resurgence. Further, as we have become an increasingly global society, our conversations around food and where it comes from has begun to highlight the importance of maintaining and developing local agricultural systems.
With the ever increasing threat of climate change and natural disasters, it has become crucial for the sustainability of our community to diversify our products, develop higher rates of self-sufficiency and food sovereignty, and network with our Caribbean neighbors.
The future of our food system depends on it.