The threat by Minister of Agriculture David Estwick to resign if his ministry does not procure an increase in its budget allocation can be analysed from a political or economic perspective. Did the recent Cadres Poll which labeled Estwick a political lightweight on the leadership index spur him to become more active? View his outburst against the background that he is the only one from the E11 to follow through on a promise to sue the Nation Publishing Company. BU recalls Minister Ronald Jones promised to do the same. With a general election on the horizon a lot can be explained in the political context.
BU prefers to give Estwick the benefit of the doubt and to suggest by his outburst he has become frustrated at the lack of significant progress in his ministry since his transfer. It is the most optimistic Barbadians who believe that as a country we are committed to finding a way to increase production in the agriculture sector. The transformation in thinking required to influence policy as well as to gain buyin from the ordinary Barbadian remains a dream. What is also known, the government in waiting is committed to a service economy with token focus on agriculture.
Why can others not see the path we are currently pursuing leads to nowhere? Of course Barbados does not have the wherewithal to satisfy local demand for food. However there is nothing to prevent Barbados from using technology and exploit regional alliances to maximise what is possible. The benefits: savings in foreign exchange, create an opportunity for employment by building out a NEW industry.
Why have we not been able to leverage the huge investment in education in a post-Independence period, and deliver relevant creative solutions to successfully confront the challenges which confront us in agriculture?
Statistics supplied by the Barbados Statistical Department confirms meat and vegetable imports in the 2007 to 2010 period to be mindboggling.
When will we wake up?