Falklands Farmers Week 2024

The Rural Business Association hosted their annual Farmer’s week last week. The event kicked off with the Falklands first economic development forum, organised by The Falkland Islands Development Corporation. The two day forum saw three speakers from key industries share some of their expertise. The first speaker, Chris Shirling Rooke has worked in maritime for over 10 years and gave his insight into how he feels the Falkland maritime sector could develop.

The second speaker was Falkland Islander Debbie Summers who has worked as an executive director in the tourism industry in New Zealand for 30 years. She gave advice on how the Falkland’s could expand the tourism and cruise ship industry.

The last speaker was Agri-tech International and Investment director, David Ross who spoke on technological agricultural advancements that could be adopted within the Islands.

As part of the forum, FIDC presented their corporate plan which lays out their intentions for the next five years. Managing Director Zach Franklin highlighted the importance of growing a green economy and reducing carbon emissions.

Topics such as transport, tourism and environment were discussed throughout Farmer’s week. Figures for 2023/24 tourism season were announced, with 1785 land based tourists and 103.000 cruise ship passengers visiting the Islands. The Tourism Board is working on a strategy for 2024-2030 aiming to improve visitor experience by making changes to the tourism industry operation. The strategy is anticipated to be presented to ExCo in the next few months.

An update on transport in the Islands was also given at Farmers week. Work Boat services are working on an improvement plan for the ferry service which will be presented at ExCo in August. Proposals included reducing the maximum amount of passengers from 50 to 30 people and switching from twice a week to twice a day operation. Questions and improvement options were raised by the public addressing if wool could be transported from Fox Bay to Stanley by ferry and whether the ferry schedule could be adjusted to meet school holidays and over the Christmas period.

To round off the week a presentation on FIMCO and meat production, and a telecoms update by Sure South Atlantic was held at the Town Hall on Friday. Sure Falkland Islands CEO Roma Stewart spoke on future development plans for telecoms in the Islands including the whitelisting of some education websites.

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