Falkland Islands Department of Agriculture a Cinderella story? Director refutes
THE Falkland Islands Department of Agriculture may be forgotten and become the Cinderella department as major projects develop in other Departments in the Directorate of Natural Resources (DNR) says MLA Gavin Short, a claim refuted by Director Andrea Clausen.
He indicated another MLA felt the same.
During an interview with MLA Gavin Short the FIG restructure was raised, MLA Short stating “I have a worry that really the administration didn’t go far enough in the thought processes to this.”
He spoke about concern that the Department of Natural Resources “is becoming huge” with the longer-term move of Mineral Resources within Natural Resources, and as a consequence “it may be difficult for the head of that department to have the real input and oversight they need – because they’ve got some big stuff bubbling along there with the fisheries and hydrocarbons.”
He added that with the developments in Fisheries and Minerals “agriculture may well become the Cinderella department and perhaps not get the real attention and input that they deserve.”
He gave the view, and indicated that he was not the only MLA with this belief, that “the agriculture department should perhaps be split away and almost become standalone again.”
He said he was uncertain whether it would need to become a directorate, but said “they would certainly need a seat at the table.”
Dr Andrea Clausen, Director of Natural Resources, was reached by Penguin News for response on MLA Short’s comments.
Dr Clausen pointed out the addition of a Deputy Director of Natural Resources post-restructure to support work in all departments, as well as additional management roles in the Fisheries Department – including a Head of Fisheries Management and Fisheries Development Officer – to ensure “robust oversight” of the Natural Resources operation.
She pointed out also the Agriculture Advisor for land, water & grazing had been given permanence and made internal in the restructure.
She noted that should the Sea Lion oil project go ahead Minerals is anticipated to return to Directorate status and will detract no resource from Agriculture.
Regarding comments about splitting Agriculture Dr Clausen said that “being part of a bigger Directorate gives opportunity for more support” and the department already benefits from the addition of a Head of Agriculture, where previously there was only a Senior Agriculture Advisor.
Picture: Dr Andrea Clausen, Director of Natural Resource