Government Has A Duty Of Care To Protect The Health Of Barbadians And To Facilitate Food Security

Submitted by Rosemary Parkinson

From what I gather watching CBC, our Ministry of Agriculture stood their ground on the necessity to keep agriculture going in Barbados during the Budget debate last week in Parliament. I was so gratified. Kudos to them, I said. However, I did not hear anything about ‘safe’ agriculture. I was not re-assured that Barbados was to be mandated as an ‘organic’ agricultural island. Why, I just do not understand – particularly when another debate was all about tourism.

Has any member of our present government and the opposition for that matter realized that eco-sustainable tourism is the way of the future? And that eco-sustainable = eco-tourism = eco-food? Yes! organic healthy food (with emphasis on organic) is part of that whole tourism package of which Barbados being such a small island can in fact profit from. I know that our soil is in trouble already. I do not need to be a farmer or soil technician to know this. But are we helping it any by using pesticides and insecticides instead of nourishing it with goodness? For those who are interested, in a clip called ‘Food Matters’ (Parts 1 & 2) available on YouTube, a scientist gives the simple facts of how to nourish our soil. The same as the roots of our society have to be nourished, so do the roots of our soil and therefore the roots of our food. We are what we eat.

From this video clip I am posting (and the many others available on the internet) the bullying and danger of Monsanto is recorded from the inception of this corporation. But at last a group of organic farmers in the state of New York are challenging Monsanto and their products. They claim they will not be forced to use this company’s seeds. They do not want any part of Monsanto in the foods they grow. Now this is very brave of these guys considering the horror of what Monsanto has done to farmers who refuse to grow their seeds – also heavily documented.
Please watch the clip and the many posted on the internet before you go any further into this discussion cause what I am about to say depends on your understanding the real horrors and dangers of Monsanto. Then perhaps you might get what we, the people of Barbados, might be in (sorry! that should be already are in) for as long as products as Roundup are allowed through our ports and into our homes and farms.

I know that in the past BU and myself might have in your eyes ‘beaten this subject into a dead horse but perhaps we might be all dead horses and people if we do not take heed. For this is something else we need to be very cognizant of. And fast. I see GMO corn being grown in St. George…fields of it. How do I know? Because of how close the corn is planted. Not normal. GMO = Monsanto seeds.

Now, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that if there’s corn, there’s also other vegetables and/or fruit perhaps that have already graced our tables. Vegetables and fruits that we were led to believe were “we own ting”. But are from Monsanto seeds and are GMO seeds. And for those who do not understand GMO – IT MEANS GENETICALLY MODIFIED AND GENETICALLY MODIFIED INCLUDES PESTICDES/INSECTICIDES IMBEDDED IN THE CELLS OF THE SEEDS. And this fact could have already started to interfere with our general health on the island.

Another subject, of course, of the general debate – our health care bill. Is it that our doctors who have the ear of government’s Minister of Health with reference to health reforms have no idea or do not care about nutrition enough to place the dangers of Monsanto before the eyes of those who have the power to make this nation a completely healthy one? Or would that also not be good for those who make tons of money yearly on dishing out pharmaceuticals? Great health = little need for doctors = little need for pills, chemo, radiation, operations etc.
I do not want to believe this. I firmly believe there is room for all – natural foods, doctors, pharmaceuticals (in that order) to be part of our health. Again, we come back to “We are what we eat” – a fact that has been proven over and over again. One only has to listen to our centenarians. And we better do this fast or our next generation will not have one and the Governor General will no longer have the duty of visiting 100-year olds and bestowing praises on them.

Why does our government not do something great for the health of this country and ban all Monsanto products? And by this I mean all. This would be surely no big deal for them ‘cause it would certainly save on our loss of foreign exchange and we need that badly right? Or are we Bajans also being controlled by this greedy and dangerous large corporation? Do we the people not care about what is being put on our table? Or are we just using blinkers because we cannot be bothered?
Perhaps we will suddenly wake up and smell the GMO when our babies begin to be born looking like the ones in this video!

I urge, and hope you do too, the government of Barbados to do what is right for us, those who have given them the responsibility of keeping us the people safe.

0 thoughts on “Government Has A Duty Of Care To Protect The Health Of Barbadians And To Facilitate Food Security

  1. Having said the above…I also appeal to Roberts Feed once more to give us a detailed and true analysis of what their animal feeds contain? And if it is in fact so that they have growth hormones/antibiotics/steroids or any of these three…just stop. I know the FDA has approved the use of these in animal feed. I know we were all *chuped* to think that it was alright if the FDA approved it. So I ent blaming anyone. This appeal is to just say please, now that we are far more informed, now that we know the dangers, can we at least consider stopping this dangerous practice (on top of the fact that most of the grain is GMO anyhow). This type of feed has the US sick…and is creating havoc in our children (has anyone not noticed the large breasts and stomachs on our kids at the age of 8 – well I have – and if anyone out there has not – all ya must be blind! Please Roberts…we do not have to do everything the US says. We can come up with a formula that works for us on the island that is safe – maybe perhaps even using purged & dried African snails made into grain or pellets!

    Imagine how good Roberts Feeds (and all other feed manufacturers) could feel to advertise that their product is “clean” and “healthy” – Bajan 100% perfect!!

    Imagine how great it would be to be the pioneers of a feed that is organic. Wow! I might even buy and eat it meself I would be so proud to have such a company doing what is right for us and for the animals we live on and even those we love! Bless!

  2. @Rosemary

    If you are the only supplier in town why remove the hormones which guarantee that they can get the chickens/animals from penn to oven in short order?

  3. Oh! David! Sad that you should have to say that eh? I will say, however, that there are many who do care. I know them. They are fighting the fight alone. And many who are fighting the fight of “We are what we eat” know that as long as we have Monsanto in our lives, and chemicals in our feeds, we are not okay because not one farm growing food whether it be vegetables, fruit or animals, is safe. The poisons are in the air, in the soil, in the water…everywhere.They know what’s in the feeds and have begun growing their backyard chickens, rabbits, turkeys.

    I speak for all those who care. And I say quite strongly that *we can save ourselves NOW*. And NOW is the word. Not tomorrow. Not nexx year. NOW!!!

    David…I have a good feeling that the DLP will do everything in their power to listen to the people who care. I know they will look at how best to reduce the island’s health care bills – this is so important for the country… perhaps they might even look at their own children’s children and look for any signs of early puberty or asthma or allergies and realize “Lord, we so sorry, we did not see this before but our eyes are open now.”

    I know they will David. The Minister of Agriculture is one strong individual who will not back down. I know this!!! I can hear the people’s shout of HOORAY!!! and I can see voters running to the polls to give them a second term if what needs to be done to ensure that our food is safe, is done. Safe food = safe and easy votes!

  4. @Rosemary

    It is good that not all of us have become so cynical to put our trust in politicians. On a parallel note it is disappointing that the head of what is described as Barbados’ main consumer organization prefers to become immerse in political chatter and a cause such has this one he is deaf to.

  5. @David – with reference to your question re short time from pen to oven…I also happen to know that even these people, these manufacturers of our feeds will be so happy to know that they are part of the new movement to make Barbados a healthy island, to know that they are saving lives, to know that our tourism will increase and therefore more animals will be required for their meats, more farms for their vegetables, therefore, increased sales of good clean feed..I know they will be fine with getting rid of the dangerous chemicals. Imagine seeing all these proud faces in large advertisements in the newspapers and in their yearly company magazines, saying “Yes! We did it for our people. Because we love them. We are the reformers. We have set a precedent. See if you can follow us world!”

    I am already preparing a design for a gold medal to be given to them! I know it will happen. I can see them standing on the podium and the Queen herself anointing them Sirs!!! The people screaming in ecstasy and delight. How can you not see this David. We people ent *chuped* – dem smart and know what to do!!! Come on ‘D’ – give them a chance to prove it!!

  6. @Rosemary

    We need empirical info. If they are farmers out there they can test their feeds, if they care about family and customers. If Minister Estwick is as committed as you think he is let his ministry initiate such testing. We need to take the conversation out of the realm of the speculative regarding feed production at Pinnacle.

  7. David “On a parallel note it is disappointing that the head of what is described as Barbados’ main consumer organization prefers to become immerse in political chatter and a cause such has this one he is deaf to.”

    His ears just need cleaning with a little Witch Hazel…once he wrap his mouth around a sweet piece of organic chicken, he will be expounding its benefits. Once he puts a few drops of Clear in he eyes and sees his own family real good, studies whether they are all healthy or not…he will join the bandwagon. Maybe even be the first to get that Gold medal and be named Sir.

    We gotta have faith in those in high position David. We gotta know for sure they will do the right thing!

  8. @ ROSIE

    Well-thought out, well-argued article on an “ISSUE” of major importance…

    I am appalled at the level of DENIAL*, disdain and demagoguery involved in matters pertaining to FOOD SECURITY* and how BAJANS* seem to somehow be so placated from anything that ideologically has to do with the PLANTATION* – that a simple discourse on FOOD* (a major staple of life and sustenance) is either pushed to the sidelines or FOLKS* simply don’t give 2 cents about the serious issues confronting them…

    The average Bajan* (as educated as we are) seem to suffer from a form of disconnect when it comes to FOOD* – but we can sit up in our ivory towers and argues PARTISAN POLITICS* day and night over a bottle of white rum…

    Says a lot about our mentality, doesn’t it?

  9. African Alliances Challenge Introduction of GM Technology

    Civil society and private sector organisations come together to fight introduction of GM technology Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

    The recent introduction of GM (genetic modification) technology into Tanzania has prompted local and international campaign groups to join forces in expressing concern for the conservation of agricultural biodiversity, which is crucial for food security and food sovereignty. Groups such as the African Centre for Biodiversity, Action Aid, International Tanzania, Biolands, BioRe, BioSustain, Envirocare, PELUM Tanzania, Swissaid, Eastern & Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) and Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement, formed the Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity in recent weeks to urge the government to resist pressure from GM companies and stakeholders to relax the strict safety legislation to allow the widespread introduction of GM technologies [1]. One liability clause states that ‘a person who imports, arranges transit, makes use of, releases or places on the market a GMO or product of a GMO shall be strictly liable for any harm caused by such a GMO or product of a GMO’ and that ‘the harm shall be compensated’. In a previously GM-free country, the alliance wants to base the assessment of GM crop safety on the precautionary principle, and state that ‘GM crops or animals are not the solution to poverty and hunger’ in the region.

    More at:

  10. @TB

    You know the answer. We have become zombies who have surrendered to a mindset which is comfortable with lifestyle trumping commonsense. We have a good way of rationalizing our behaviour too, ‘it is nothing new’.

  11. @Green Monkey. Does this mean that perhaps African Alliances get the message? Wow! And look what a huge continent that is of so many countries. We have to prove that we as intelligent, caring (and using we commonsense and education – the latter passed on by our God-fearing forefathers because they loved this island) people can do even better. Ban dem! We are small enough to be eco-sustainable in so many ways…not just food! But one step at a time…and we have to start with what keeps us alive!

  12. Rosemary, I am entirely on board with any campaign to deny Monsanto the opportunity to shove their illegitimate, frankenfood creations down our unwilling throats.

    In general, the public, labouring under the apparent delusion that the prime objective of government regulatory agencies like the USA’s FDA is to protect the health and well being of the people (as opposed to merely guaranteeing the profits of big business), assume that Monsanto’s junk science seeds must have been thoroughly tested under conditions of impartial and rigid scientific scrutiny and proven to be safe before they were allowed to be unleashed on an unsuspecting and unknowing public. Such is definitely not the case.

    Please see all the related posts on this thread at for details:

    Scientist: GM food safety testing is “woefully inadequate”

    Note from the DU thread the shamefully underhanded way in which the FDA allowed Monsanto’s former employees (and in one case a lawyer who had previously acted for Monsanto and who after a stint at the FDA went back to work for Monsanto as a VP) to be inserted into influential positions in the FDA where they could act to smooth the way for Monsanto’s GMO products and seeds to be introduced into the market place without thorough and impartial testing for safety and side effects:

    • Is it not ‘stupid’ to have citizens fighting all kinds of causes then giving GM foods a free pass for example?

      Wouldn’t it be more constructive if ‘Pastor’ Victor Roach fought the cause for food security by blocking GM foods rather than calling for breathalyzers?

      Which scourge will kill more people.

  13. Just because it is so important, I am going to post the link to the article which discusses the revolving door between the regulators (i.e. The FDA) and the regulated (i.e. that parasite on the back humanity, Monsanto).

    Revolving Doors
    “Taylor did not simply fill a vacant position at the agency”, says Jeffrey M. Smith in his book Seeds of Deception, “In 1991 the FDA created a new position for him: Deputy Commissioner for Policy. He instantly became the FDA official with the greatest influence on GM food regulation, overseeing the development of government policy. According to public interest attorney Steven Druker, who has studied the FDA’s internal files, ‘During Mr. Taylor’s tenure as Deputy Commissioner, references to the unintended negative effects of bioengineering were progressively deleted from drafts of the policy statement (over the protests of agency scientists (1)), and a final statement was issued claiming (a) that foods are no riskier than others and (b) that the agency has no information to the contrary” . After his stint at the FDA Taylor went back to work as Monsanto’s vice-president for public policy .

    More at:

  14. @Green Monkey…thanks for supporting a clean ‘people’ because that is what we will become if only we take the right measures. And yes! I know all about Monsanto and all about the FDA and all about America’s highly-paid lobbyist who can get the worst poisons approved by the US government by paying off those who can get laws passed. The whole thing is so corrupt and the people’s health is at stake. Well…let Americans fight their fight – far more difficult although it is beginning in a serious way.

    We need to fight our own battles because we are a small island and can do it! I hope anyone joining this blog will keep posting links to news on what we are doing to our health by allowing these lies to infiltrate into our food system. By the way…I bet that even crime will go down (Police Commissioner read this!) as there are studies done that some of the chemicals/preservatives placed into food has been causing havoc with the brain cells of young and old people in a very negative way – as simply as just general anger which can lead to criminal activity. So here’s another area where concern needs to be shown.

    Food is a serious thing. And nothing to be brushed under the dinner table carpet. Time for it to be on the daily table of each and every one of us but only if it is free of chemicals! Time for action peoples!

    • @Rosemary

      To add to your plea, let all those media practitioners who lurk on BU and use info as fodder for their political stories, do the same for food security and blocking GM foods!

  15. I don’ know, but to me these young girls looking better than ever. Might be the push up bras or the tights or just the modified food but lemmetellya, if this is a spin off of all the ills that these guys are speaking about, I will observe

  16. @Rosemary Parkinson

    “We need to fight our own battles because we are a small island and can do it!”

    But unfortunately we are a small island, as you said, and the government of the much bigger “freedom loving”, “democracy promoting” home of Monsanto, the USA, does everything in its power to force GM seeds and foods on the rest of the world whether the rest of the world wants them or not.

    I strongly suspect that should our own politicians screw up the nerve to tell Monsanto they can stick their GM seeds and/or their glyphosate based Roundup weed killer where the sun don’t shine as we will not allow them to be imported into Barbados, you can be sure there will be all sorts of overt and not-so-overt pressure brought to bear on our own govenment by our benevolent, freedom-loving neighbor to the North (not to mention by our local wholesalers and agents who profit from selling the stuff as well) to reverse such a decision toute suite.

    One might think. “We are so small, and our market for Monsanto’s products must be infinitesimal compared to their worldwide sales. Why would they care?” Of course, it would all come down to squashing any outbreaks of independent thought on this matter before the contamination has a chance to spread and really affect their profits.

    EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity

    The European Commission approved glyphosate knowing, as Monsanto did, that it causes birth defects, while the public were kept in the dark, the herbicide must now be banned Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

    Please forward widely to your political representatives and demand a worldwide ban on glyphosate herbicides

    A damning report co-authored by an international group of scientists and researchers for non-government organisation Open Earth Source (OES) reveals that studies from industry including those from Monsanto since the 1990s showed glyphosate caused birth defects and the European Commission approved the herbicide in full knowledge of those finding [1].

    Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and over a hundred other commercial formulations. It is the cause of great concern as evidence of its harmful effects keep piling up from independent scientific studies in recent years, including endocrine disruption, DNA damage, reproductive and developmental toxicities, neurotoxicity, cancer, and birth defects (see [2] Glyphosate Toxic and Roundup Worse, SiS 26; [3] Death by Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup, SiS 42; [4] Ban Glyphosate Herbicide Now. SiS 43; [5] Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, SiS 48). (embedded links in the original /GM)

    More at:

  17. BAFP must be busy f__cking around
    in the meantime here’s some f__nk
    Jackie Mittoo-Deeper And Deeper, Black Organ, Sidewalk Doctor, Stereo Freeze♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫
    ♬♩♪♫ ♬♩♪♫ ♬ music

  18. “Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.” – Dr. Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

    Take a minute to read about the remarkable work done by this hero of the twentieth century on GM foods and plant breeding. Places like Mexico and India would still be food deficient were it not for his efforts… over a billion lives saved from famine.

    While he quietly went about his work, here is what some famous ‘Green Monkeys’ of his time were saying…

    “The battle to feed all of humanity is over,”… “In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”… “I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971.”… “India couldn’t possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980.” – Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb

    “The period of global food security is over.” (1981), “The world’s farmers can no longer be counted on to feed the projected additions to our numbers.” (1994) – Lester Brown, founder of Worldwatch Institute

    Between 1960 and 2000 the world’s population doubled, yet calories produced per day per capita has increased by 23% in the same period… due to the efforts of people like Dr. Borlaug. When you think about the problems the world faces, you have a couple choices… the Norman Borlaug response or the Green Monkey response. Choose wisely.

  19. The only thing that I haven’t heard or read about on the issue of Food Security on these pages is Soylent Green. When we run out of food there is always Soylent Green

  20. How can we get Bajans to pelt some pumpkin seeds in de yard. Pelt some soursop and passion fruit seeds by de palin or eff yuh in de heights by de guard wall.

    As long as Bajans have money and de supamarket sellin food nuhbody en care bout monsanto or hormones or nuttin so.

  21. Canada’s Prime Minister just visited Brazil,Columbia and central America.
    Canada’s new best friends.

    Barbados needs some new best friends.

    BAFBFP you know how to use a hoe. A great food security implement.

  22. Organic farming ‘could feed Africa’

    Traditional practices increase yield by 128 per cent in east Africa, says UN

    By Daniel Howden in Nairobi

    Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to a major study from the United Nations to be presented today.

    New evidence suggests that organic practices – derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad – are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa’s small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. The head of the UN’s Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said the report “indicates that the potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had supposed”.


    It has been conventional wisdom among African governments that modern, mechanised agriculture was needed to close the gap but efforts in this direction have had little impact on food poverty and done nothing to create a sustainable approach. Now, the global food crisis has led to renewed calls for a massive modernisation of agriculture on the hungriest continent on the planet, with calls to push ahead with genetically modified crops and large industrial farms to avoid potentially disastrous starvation.

    Last month the UK’s former chief scientist Sir David King said anti-scientific attitudes among Western NGOs and the UN were responsible for holding back a much-needed green revolution in Africa. “The problem is that the Western world’s move toward organic farming – a lifestyle choice for a community with surplus food – and against agricultural technology in general and GM in particular, has been adopted across the whole of Africa, with the exception of South Africa, with devastating consequences,” he said.

    The research conducted by the UN Environment Programme suggests that organic, small-scale farming can deliver the increased yields which were thought to be the preserve of industrial farming, without the environmental and social damage which that form of agriculture brings with it.

    An analysis of 114 projects in 24 African countries found that yields had more than doubled where organic, or near-organic practices had been used. That increase in yield jumped to 128 per cent in east Africa.


    The study found that organic practices outperformed traditional methods and chemical-intensive conventional farming. It also found strong environmental benefits such as improved soil fertility, better retention of water and resistance to drought. And the research highlighted the role that learning organic practices could have in improving local education. Backers of GM foods insist that a technological fix is needed to feed the world. But this form of agriculture requires cash to buy the patented seeds and herbicides – both at record high prices currently – needed to grow GM crops.

  23. @ Hants
    BAFBFP you know how to use a hoe. A great food security implement

    As long as Bajans have money and de supamarket sellin food nuhbody en care bout monsanto or hormones or nuttin so
    You REALLY went to Crumpton Street Hants?
    ….wuh you sound like a sensible fellow…

  24. Hants | August 21, 2011 at 1:28 PM |
    How can we get Bajans to pelt some pumpkin seeds in de yard. Pelt some soursop and passion fruit seeds by de palin or eff yuh in de heights by de guard wall.
    Market them as Natural Aphrodisiacs ,and demand and supply would be astronomical.

  25. I want to add that genetically modified corn is actually patented as a pesticide and not a plant because of the high amount of deadly chemicals found in the genes.

    Eat a little at once and nothing happens.

    Eat a little every day and you die.

    • Listened to Minister Estwick who was very eloquent in his budget delivery but at the end of the day it will be about policy execution.

      He can get all the contracts for the farmers to supply the hotels and government sectors which will guarantee demand.

      He still has to fix the problem of ‘tieffin’ to prevent frustrated farmers from jumping ship.

      Yes you can increase fines but you have to catch the thieves first and it seems our police force force does not have the mindset and or strategy to catch those engaged in praedial larceny.

  26. Word to farmers.Fend fuh yuhself. Get a 16 guage and dogs.

    Word to BAS. Provice security cameras and DVRs where possible.

    Word to Amused,Anonlegal Andrew Pilgim and Marston Gibson. Propose a change in the law that would make tiefin crops an offence with a minimum 10 year sentence for first offence.

  27. @Hants

    please enquire of your friends as to what happened to the fellow at Claybury who shot the man stealing the vegetables from the fields!

    My advice to farmers: subdivide the land, sell it off in house spots, make more money in one swell swoop than you would have made in all the years combined (even if the thieves hadn’t wiped you out) and retire happy.

    Forget the 16 gauge talk, yuh hear!

  28. @BAFP
    Yes indeed it truly is a serious issue
    I was temporarily distracted picturing big booty.
    Processed foods from supermarkets are cancerous
    as well as expensive.
    Healthy Lifestyles / Ital Food is Vital but requires discipline

  29. Just wondering if the Ministry of Agriculture has carried out any tests with reference to the current invasion of seaweed on our shores – tests that perhaps might show that this seaweed could be used as fertilizer/compost for the soil on farms. Walking on the east coast I took this photo…sifting through the seaweed it appears to be alive once the dark top burned by the sun is lifted…I can only imagine that this seaweed might be filled with several nutrients… This could be a major saving if indeed it can be used, and what a great way to clean the beaches whilst nourishing agricultural land. Just asking any one out there who might know.

  30. Ooops! sorry did not upload photo as I am unable to do so! Technologically impaired…..But everyone has seen the seaweed…there is tons of it on the east coast….and much on the south. Anyone out there can answer my question above?

  31. I hope these so called contracts between farmers and hotels,etc. dont have a clause which state that the farmer has to pay costs to these distributors when he cant supply his quota…. but I would guess Mr. Minister and crew wouldn’t remove their readers when going over these arrangements…lol. If the contracts state as much, or more…. farmer A will most likely hijack or purchase goods from the thief who stole from farmer B down the road… to satisfy his quota when things on his side o de fence brown lol…..

  32. @Pimp Pong
    One of these days when you bending over to tek up the land to sell and realise you can find any…. the men wid the money tree gine tell you dont worry…. them gine tek your ass instead. Don’t bend down so…..

  33. Thanks Straight Talk…I feel my elbow slipping with grease. Food Security does not appear to be as important as other great topics like ethnic backgrounds and and and…sadly not too many get that food should be the first and most important issue we have in Barbados ’cause without it we would not have any other issues, and with what we have in our foods today will be the cause of health issues in the future….no win no win situation if we DO NOT WAKE UP AND SMELL THE EARTH!

    I know members of the government and press read these blogs..but yet still not one word of any of the questions posed, or even any real input. Ooops! I forgot, they are still all busy patting each other on their backs over the Parliamentary Debates and/or writing about it in the press. Wonder what they have all been eating during this time?

    May the Universe help us for right now the future of food and the health of the people of Barbados looks bleak…So be it.

  34. Rosemary I hear you and I believe we have to start our own seed bank. How do we recognize GMO seeds?

    I am amazed how the coastal unit seems to be at lost with the sea weed on the beaches. I am going down to the east coast to get some for my garden. Perhaps if the coastal unit would ask people to pay a reasonable price for them to deliver by the truckload it will help get rid of some of the sea weed. They seem to have just thrown their hands in the air.

    Anyone with a truck want to donate some time?

  35. Rosemary;

    Good idea for using the sea weed. This is Ba’bados, believe me, nothing will be done and the opportunity will soon be lost.

    Now tell me, what do you think about the Sparrow selection … You think Sparrow might be onto something with regard to security?

  36. For those interested re the seaweed…and again now I am getting a little tired of realizing that our people here just do not care. If I had a farm, saw all that seaweed on the beach, the first thing I would do is wonder about it and research. The Ministry of Agriculture same ting. Are just a lazy lot? Obviously yes! anyhow here’s something I found posted on Facebook by one of my friends:

    Processing seaweed
    Do you want to learn a little bit about how to process seaweed? Well come along and find out more!
    Between 1981 and 1992 world production of seaweed increased from 3.2 million tons to 7 million tons. Brown algae production was at 5.2 million tons (75%); red algae production was at 1.73 million tons (25%); and green algae production was at 0.07 million tons (0.5%). Wow! That’s a lot of seaweed. If you read are harvesting page, you will realize that the world has move from harvesting and processing seaweed by hand to using higher technology.
    One Example of Technology
    J.R. Hulls developed such a process in 1976. He was assigned to Bio-Kinetics Inc. his process involves producing an algae product and purifying aqueous organic waste material to provide clean water. Starting algae and aqueous waste are admixed in sufficient amount to provide nutrients for the algae, which are grown in symbiotic relation ship with aerobic bacteria present. The mixture is aerated with, if desired, carbon dioxide added, and is exposed to alternate period of light (e.g., one-half second to ten seconds) and darkness (about ten times as long as light period) to accelerate growth of the algae, harvesting the algae product to maintain the growth rate at a very high level.
    Have you ever eaten sushi? Did you know that a lot of sushi uses seaweed as one of its ingredients? The green crunchy wrapping sometimes used in sushi is called nori. Nori is made from seaweed – but it is not in a fresh state. After the seaweed Prophyra is picked, it is immediately dried into sheets. This was formerly done by sun-drying process, but this job is now highly mechanized. The harvesters only take what they can process in one day. Nori is first washed with freshwater than fed into a shredding machine, which makes it to a piece 0.5×1 cm in size. The cut nori is then thoroughly mixed with freshwater, 4 kg of nori per 100 liters.
    The nori/water mixture is than fed into a machine that is almost like a papermaking machine. In the machine it is put on top a wooden frame about 30 sq cm on the outside, which is fit into mats of split bamboo 20×18 cm big. Then it’s placed into a wire netting screen about 600 ml of mixture is fed into each frame and the water drains away through the mats and screen. The frames then move slowly across a production line and afterwards it goes over a heated surface. The nori and the bamboo mats are then moved going back in a circle for more nori-water mixture.
    After the nori sheets are piled up and put into an oven to reduce the moisture content to about 18%. This is in order to make a good product. The temperature of the drying process is 500C. Than the bamboo mats are then removed, the nori is than put together it 10s and packed in bundles of 100s.
    The nori is then shipped to a co-operative shipping point. There they are carefully packed and sealed in cellopane so that the moisture uptake is reduced as much as possible. Then they are shipped to all parts of the world. The Japanese output is about seven billion sheets a year. Korea produces 60-100 million sheets.
    North American Kelp
    Asia is not the only place that harvests and process seaweed. Robert Morse, a marine engineer who was one of the first members of Maine’s Organic Farmer and Gardeners Association, founded North American Kelp in 1971. North American Kelp is a Maine-based company with more than 28 years of experience in processing kelp. The company harvests several types of kelp year-round with a regular crew of 10 that becomes 35 during peak harvesting seasons. The kelp is processed in North American Kelp’s facility in Waldoboro, Maine. The company harvests sea kelp from the same cold clean water that has been providing world-famous seafoods for centuries.
    Yantai Prince Chemical Co. LTD
    YSIC and a German Company started a joint venture named Yantai Prince Chemical Co. LTD. Yantai Prince Chemical Co. LTD. was found in 1970 and is one of the founders of seaweed processing industry in China. Yantai Prince Chemical Co. LTD. annually produces 1,200 tons of sodium alginate, 500 tons of mannitol, 15 tons of iodine, 200 tons of carrageenan and 100 tons of agar-agar. Recently they have advance new productions such as EPOXY RESIN a series of printing auxiliaries and various aquatic foodstuff. Alginate, carrageen and mannitol have been exported to over 10 countries in the past 20 years. It is mainly marketed in Europe, America, Japan, and Korea. Alginate is a thickener an emulsifier. Carrageen is a suspending agent used in foods, medicine, cosmetics, and industrial products. Mannitol is used in intravaneous medicine.
    Danisco Ingredients and Carrageen Seaweed
    Yantai Prince Chemical Co. LTD rented three machines to a seaweed-processing factory in southern Chile. This client, Danisco Ingredients, uses carrageen seaweed as a raw material. They produce carrageenan, a food additive that is extracted from the seaweed. Danisco purchases red, black and narrow leaf carrageen.
    The harvesters use helmets and lead boots to harvest red narrow leaf carrageen. The black narrow leaf washes up on the beaches, and women and children picked up the black narrow leaf from the ocean’s shore.
    The three machines rented were the Vincent horizontal shredder with narrow blades, a Vincent triple pass rotating drum dryer, and a soft squeeze KP-6 press. The VS-35 shredder has worked well both on baled dry material and on fresh seaweed from fishing boats. Initial plugging was overcome by going to a discharge screen with 2-1/4 holes. The one remaining problem has been blades damage arising from rocks to witch the seaweed is attached.
    The dryer has also worked very well. The seaweed goes through a sticky stage as it is dried from 82% down to 18% moisture. However it has not adhered to the inside of the dryer so the product recirculation feature does not appear necessary. Most tests were run feeding two to four pounds per minute into the dryer. Gas recirculation was not used in order to keep down the wet bulb temperature. The highest temperature material can reach in the dryer is the wet bulb temperature (dew point), and it is felt that the viscosity of carrageenan produced might be adversely affect by exposure of carrageen to high temperature. It is not possible to remove any moisture at all from the seaweed with a screw press. They tried shredding , macerating, and adding lime; nothing worked.
    However, the press worked well at removing free water from previously dried seaweed that was later washed to remove sand and rocks. In one test moisture content was reduced from 68% to 60%.
    Algae Production Processes and Products
    Successful algae production depends on matching the right kind of water to the right kind of algae culture. Depending on the kind of algae being cultured, fresh water, brackish water, salt water, industrial water, sewage water, and even polluted water can be used. Sufficient amounts of the right kind of water must be available. Of course, the more expensive the water the more costly the production will be.
    Most processing involving the deliberate production of algae were developed beginning in the 1950s. We were surprised to learn that there are many people that are inventing new ways to grow better algae. The list is too long and the methods are too complicated to describe here. We were disappointed because all the books we got on aquaculture are all old.
    Products From Algae Culture
    Some interesting products are created from various algae culture processes. A process for extracting antibiotics from several types of algae it was developed in 1968. A variety of processes are used to make dyes from algae so that materials can be colored (known as pigmentation).
    Green algae contain many of the valuable nutrients needed for human consumption. Various processes have been developed to remove the undesirable appearance taste and odor that come with the use of green algae.
    Research in the use of atomic energy has lead to the discovery of the use of algae can help separate heavy isotopes of carbon from light isotope of carbon.
    Algae uses the process of photosynthesis in its growing. Process of been developed to deliberately produce oxygen using algae culture. Even General Electric Company has an apparatus of oxygen and algae production. This process might one day solve the problem of providing a steady supply of oxygen for use in space.
    One of the most popular uses of algae is the production of thickening agents and emulsifiers, which help to make food and household products thick, smooth, and creamy. Algin and carageenin are the two main thickening agents made from algae.

    Duh! Jesus…what will it take? I cannot believe this report. And all they are worried about is tourism. Take up de darned seaweed (whoever in charge of cleaning de beaches) and take it to the Ministry of Agriculture for crying out loud…it is good stuff!!! Or ask Barbadians to gather, clean it up and take it to their farms…whatever!!! But doan stand up looking at it and just cry to the newspapers!!!

  38. Today’s press quotes the Coastal Zone Management as being concern that this is turtle nesting time and using heavy equipment on the sand is potentially hazardous to the little uns.

  39. @Rosemary Parkinson: “Take up de darned seaweed (whoever in charge of cleaning de beaches) and take it to the Ministry of Agriculture for crying out loud…it is good stuff!!!

    Kinda weird, isn’t it.

    The gods bless us with compostable material (high in carbon, oxygen and nitrogen), and rather than use it, we complain about it.

    @David: “Today’s press quotes the Coastal Zone Management as being concern that this is turtle nesting time and using heavy equipment on the sand is potentially hazardous to the little uns.

    The turtles nesting do so on calm shores. Read: not on the east coast where a lot of this sea-weed has been appearing.

    They know what they’re doing.

    Do we?

  40. Eggxactly Christopher (and let that be organic eggs!). There is also a lot of the sea weed on the south coast. But hey…anyone heard “hands and big bags”. There are beach clean-ups yearly with people joining in to do it. Hmmm…. In any case if heavy equipment is used…a lot of sand will come with the seaweed and this will be far more problematic to deal with. Here’s the recipe: Bend down, grab seaweed in hands, shake off as much sand as possible, place in large bags, take to farm/agriculture ministry/home gardens etc. If the seaweed is out at sea, get fishermen to go out and pick up…it is in their interest too as they are complaining this could be the reason for no fish, although I do not buy that but then I am not a fisherman nor a fishing expert.

    And by the way…talking fish…you see dem Lion Fish every one complaining about…tekking over the reefs and killing every edible ting? Well, they are considered gourmet in other islands. So learn about dem ’cause there’s a way to ketch dem, and sell dem to gourmet restaurants around the island. Lawd gee me strength.

    Can I get a big-up job in a Ministry please! Can I be Minister of Clean Food, Minister of Seaweed and Minister of Lion Fish? Oh! and while we are it Minister of African Snail?

  41. @Rosemary Parkinson: “Here’s the recipe: Bend down, grab seaweed in hands, shake off as much sand as possible, place in large bags, take to farm/agriculture ministry/home gardens etc.

    Thank you.

    That, I agree, is the sustainable recipe.

  42. And why do I promote the easy import/export between the island…now perhaps this will get some lucky entrepreneur thinking *light bulb* ’cause one day whilst rowing a little canoe off the shores of Portland, I thought I saw several white things in the crystal clear water hiding in between the seaweeds. Oh! Yes! There they were. Thousands and thousands of sea eggs..big too bad as well…I mean fat and huge…for as far as I could row. I literally put my hand in and picked up about three or four for eating raw. Was told by the Jamaicans that they do not eat dat at all, at all. Okay…so anyone excited now? Or will this start a quarrel that it is the Jamaicans that steal Bajan Sea Egg?

    So yes! although I am up for clean, healthy food, I am also a strong proponent for Caribbean integration….before we thought about the movement of people, we should have had the movement of food in place! Our islands are filled with such deliciousness and we are not taking advantage of this…(this includes Guyana)…just importing nasty crap from the US.

  43. The Sargasso Sea is that area of the Atlantic Ocean from which much of this seaweed comes from. It is hundreds of thousand of square miles in area.

    The Sargasso sea is not in any country’s exclusive economic zone. Is this a resource that is there for the taking? Mulch for our soils, food for animals, fuel for waste to energy incinerators?

    Is God the Bajan trying to tell us something?

  44. So now we can see that the seaweed washing up on our shores is indeed a sort of manna from heaven…so farmers get your trucks down to the shores…Ministry of Agriculture you too….perhaps even those living at Hotel Dodds could do some supervised work…they also have a farm. FREE COMPOST. FREE FERTILIZER.

    MARIGOT, St. Martin – The fishermen are happy, but Vice President Pierre Aliotti called a press conference yesterday morning to alert residents and visitors about the health risks linked to the massive invasion of sargassum, a seaweed originating from the Sea of Sargasso, located between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico. Coming from the north-north-west, the seaweed had landed on French-side beaches like Orient beach and also the beach in French Cul de Sac.
    Aliotti said that, if the situation gets worse, he may consider closing public access to certain beaches, but for the time being the Collectivité sticks to warning people to be careful. “In the water, the seaweed is harmless, but once they land on our beaches they start to decompose. During this process they emit hydrogen sulfide. Because of the local temperatures, the seaweeds decompose and dry quickly, usually within 48 hours,” Aliotti said.
    Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, very poisonous and highly flammable gas. It spreads an unpleasant odor much like the smell of rotten eggs.
    Aliotti said that inhaling the gas in small doses could trigger irritation of the eyes and the respiratory system, especially among people who are sensitive to it. The groups at risk are people with respiratory problems, asthma patients, elderly people, babies and pregnant women. Aliotti added that certain animals, especially dogs, are also sensitive to the inhalation of hydrogen sulfide.
    “We are here to inform the population, and especially people who belong to the risk group, to avoid visiting beaches with a high concentration of seaweed,” Aliotti said, adding that animals are prohibited on all beaches.
    The Vice-President said that the Collectivité will take all necessary measures when situations occur whereby there are so much seaweeds in the sea that the water is no longer transparent. The Réserve Naturelle advises the Collectivité about the actual situation. Possible measures are temporary bans on swimming or on visiting affected beaches.
    The Collectivité considers cleaning up an area around the pier in Cul de Sac where people board a small ferry to visit Pinel Island. Orient Beach is also flooded with sargassum, especially near Mont Vernon. A clean up crew cleaned the beach last week, only to discover that the sargassum had come back with a vengeance the next day. Elsewhere on Orient Beach, restaurateurs have their hands full keeping their stretch of beach clean.
    Aliotti said that the operator of the Eco-site in Grandes Cayes is prepared to receive a certain quantity of the seaweed and to turn it into compost. “Our environmental teams are on the road every day to monitor the situation,” Aliotti said.
    Romain Renoux, head of the Réserve Naturelle said that his organization monitors the situation at sea. We do not have our own plane, but we do get information from pilots who fly over the area,” he said.
    According to Renoux, the situation is currently “not alarming,” but he added that there is still a large patch of sargassum at sea and that it is uncertain whether this will make landfall on Saint Martin.
    Cleaning up the beaches where necessary will be done “lightly” Aliotti said and not the way it was done in Martinique where cleanup crews removed a lot of sand from the beaches with the seaweed. “Now there is a shortage of sand on their beaches,” he said. “We will be more careful.”
    Aliotti explained that the sargassum poses potential health risks as long as it is wet. Once the weeds are dry they no longer emit the harmful hydrogen sulfide gases. Because there is so much seaweed landing on the beaches right now, it does not get time to dry before the next batch arrives.
    “We know what we have to do to solve the problem,” Aliotti said. “We have to spread it out in thin layers to let it dry.”
    That fishermen are happy is not surprising. Sargassum is an important habitat for a variety of marine animals in the open ocean. The sea underneath free floating mats of sargassum is rich in mahi mahi, tuna, dolphins, wahoo and billfish. Sea turtles and marine birds also make sargassum their home.
    In 2033, a fishery management plan was put in place for pelagic sargassum in the South Atlantic region. The plan implements restrictions on commercial harvesting, as was done by a North Carolina company who used the seaweed for the feed supplement industry. The plan limits harvest to a maximum of 5,000 pounds wet weight per year. Harvesting is only allowed between November and June to protect turtles. Harvesting within 100 miles of shore is also prohibited.

  45. Great topic from the top.
    Let me add my grateful voice to the farmers who are hoping that the Minister of Agriculture’s statement on using a centralised planning and purchasing system for all food crops will be implemented by the technocrats and foot soldiers in the Ministry.

    We in the organic farming movement have felt that this is the way to go in order to have better control of our food security and to reduce crop theft.

    What we would ultimately like to see is a facility that actually handles the farm produce, sorts, cleans, grades it (to World standards) and then redistributes the products to the areas which the Minister mentioned. The Holding company can be used to pay the growers on delivery, according to the quality of the produce.

    All vendors (from the street to the restaurant) should have to use this facility, from which they buy their fresh produce and receive their receipts. These in turn can easily be checked by the Police or another agency and where a vendor cannot satisfy the source of their produce, (anything not listed on the receipt) the produce should be confiscated until they can.

    We would humbly suggest that the Minister maintains the momentum of his statement by facilitating a series of Parish meetings, One or 2 evenings per week, where everyone growing food of any sort, from short cash crops to fruit trees, comes together and registers their crops by filling out a form.
    They can also express their interest in taking part in the programme and give the Ministry tangible information on just what is being produced on the island. The extension officers can then set up a timetable of visits to meet with the growers in smaller groups or individually to get first hand visual knowledge of the producer.

    Such a process of information gathering is essential. Many people may have a couple of fruit trees in their backyard, that if managed properly and having the fruit presented to an assured marketing scheme could perhaps pay for their land tax each year.

    For some time such a system was used in Haiti concentrating on mango trees, to the extent that Haitian mangoes was a major crop imported into the USA.

    I had a visit last year from a consultant working for the EU who specialised in agricultural production all over the World. A part of his task was to assess farming in Barbados and the region and he wanted somew information on organic farming. We shared information and at the conclusion of his study we met again to discuss his findings. He was candid in telling me that Barbados and the region was at least 15 years behind Africa in agricultural development.

    Only last month I was speaking with the Managing Director of a company that grows and process’ healthy foods in Senegal Africa, and she explained that Senegal has a very good centralised purchasing system and that their farmers Credit Union is one of the strongest in the country.

    Such a centralised purchasing system can encourage farmers to invest in themselves more by with holding a small percentage of the growers payment as a saving fund for their agricultural credit union account. This money can grow into a nice sum that can be used as a revolving loan scheme. Such a scheme can, after a couple of years take the burden off central government for financing agriculture.

    Maybe five years ago, three or four monitors for a European Union program came to my small acreage to see what we were doing as an organic operation. One of the gentlemen, an Englishman, farmed in Kenya. One of the other men there mentioned that this Englishman’s farm had one field of several, that was bigger than Barbados and that he had to use a helicopter to get around his land effectively.

    It made me see that all agriculture in Barbados can be managed as one farm if we really take the blinkers off and centralised our operation.

    Lots more to share, but for now


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