There’s no question Barbuda was one of the hardest hit countries in the 2017 hurricane season. Back to back Category 5 storms destroyed nearly 95% of the island’s structures. But the storms also took a massive toll on another aspect—agriculture.
Antigua and Barbuda isn’t as renowned for its agriculture sector as some of its neighbours, but in recent years, the island of Barbuda in particular had made strides to change that. Barbuda is home to a burgeoning peanut industry, but with the hurricanes, much of the infrastructure and crops themselves were damaged. Rebuilding is under way, but it will take time, and without homes to live in and structures to facilitate farming, it will be quite some time before crops are reinstated.
It’s not all bad news. Peanut production was recently getting support from CARDI—the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute—who has agreed to screen and store seed supplies at a facility in Antigua until conditions are appropriate and infrastructure has been restored.
Antigua and Barbuda has also adopted a green island concept which focuses on alternative energy sources like wind and solar, as well as organic agriculture and adhering to stricter rules for food safety.
All this means that the chance to rebuild also comes with the opportunity to protect agricultural crops with specially designed, smart greenhouses which have the potential to be more resilient to future weather events. The green island concept will also examine how land-use and zoning is done as well to further ensure the integrity of the environment moving forward.
Of course, all of this requires two key elements: time and money. On the monetary side of things, Antigua and Barbuda has announced it will cut the investment threshold for the National Development Fund option for the Citizenship By Investment program from a $200,000 initial investment to a $100,000 initial investment in an effort to stimulate the program. This reduction is coming on the heels of a previously announced reduction of fees for a family of four from $50,000 to $25,000.
Bottom line, this is a unique time for potential investors—the opportunity to seek a second citizenship at a reduced rate and the chance to help support construct the Antigua and Barbuda of the future. It’s not every day a chance like this comes along.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today for a free consultation.