The Assault On Arable Land Continues Under Both Political Parties

Senatorr Dr. Frances Chandler

Senator Dr. Frances Chandler, a respected voice on land use in Barbados

The following message from the Future Trust is being disseminated by BU because there is undoubtedly a big case of relevance. Minister David Estwick has been making a lot of noise recently to gain attention for his ministry. It appears he has been successful in the endeavour.

National Meeting on Agriculture
Date: Sunday June 24
Time: 4pm
Duration: 3 hours
Location: Boarded Hall

Speakers: Dr Francis Chandler, Dr Chelston Brathwaite, Keith Laurie, Mia Mottley

Catalyst: Large area of VERY arable land earmarked at Lower Greys east of the Shop on the right hand side to be put into housing. Land was in food production up to two years ago. Is this the best we can do with our arable land when so much rab land is around?

A few will make lots a money and many will own a home but maybe unable to buy the imported food due to high inflation. We are saying the most arable fertile lands in the St George Valley and St Thomas must be protected from development. When will this encroachment stop? With the Urban Sprawl well entrenched all lands in this 166sq mile dot is marginal.

A country that uses all of its arable land under the pretext its marginal and is located near sites and services is courting starvation and impoverishment.

Thus our meeting is about sharing practical ideas on the way forward for agriculture and to reinforce the need for agriculture to be given more respect if we are to have food security as well as discuss  our land use policy.

We are not saying don`t develop, but develop in a sensible and sustainable way while seeking more effective ways of practising agriculture. A new reconstituted Future Centre Trust intends to be more vocal on environmental issues without partisan favour as our legacy is to future generations.

Kammie Holder
Future Centre Trust

0 thoughts on “The Assault On Arable Land Continues Under Both Political Parties

  1. It is election time. It is silly season. And a million promises always emanate from this excitement. I am keeping everything crossed that this time it will be forthcoming. The promises of agriculture taking the spot it should in the scheme of things….but sustainable agriculture…clean agriculture…devoid of Monsanto and its Round Up…without GMO seeds being planted into our soil…is a dream I would like to see come true!! Kamie…I know your interest in this. I also am aware of Mia Mottley’s love of the land and Dr. Chandler and even Dr. Brathwaithe…so I know the future could look bright…but I am not hearing the word ‘clean’…we do not have to (cannot!) use organic because our soil is already compromised…but we can clean up our food…so good clean food will reduce not only our food bill but could even completely reduce our health bill to a minimum. I look forward to some positive action. At this point I do not care where it comes from. As I attend one funeral after another of young women and men who have succumbed to cancers of all types…I know the answer is clean food. So anyone who gets this done is welcome in my estimation! This is not about party politricks…this is a serious problem that needs addressing if you love your people and your country and are not so keen on the undertaker. Simple!

  2. The promises of agriculture taking the spot it should in the scheme of things….but sustainable agriculture…clean agriculture…devoid of Monsanto and its Round Up…without GMO seeds being planted into our soil…

    Preach on Rosemary! Preach on! Not sure how much good it will do as it becomes clearer every day that we are living in world run by corporations striving relentlessly to increase the short term profits of said corporations while steamrolling flat the natural world which makes our very existence on the planet viable in the first place.

    Silent Spring For Us?
    By Paul Craig Roberts

    With her 1962 book, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson got DDT and other synthetic pesticides banned and saved bird life. Today it is humans who are directly threatened by technologies designed to extract the maximum profit at the lowest private cost and the maximum social cost from natural resources.


    The newest threat comes from genetically modified seeds that produce crops resistant to herbicides. The active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is glyphosate, a toxic element that now contaminates groundwater in Spain and according to the US Geological Survey is now “commonly found in rain and streams in the Mississippi River Basin.”

    In 2011 Don Huber, a plant pathologist and soil microbiologist, wrote to the US Secretary of Agriculture about the unexpected consequences of GMOs and the accompanying herbicides. He cited adverse effects on critical micronutrients, soil fertility, and the nutritional value of foods. He cited the impairment of metabolic pathways that prevents plants from accumulating and storing minerals, such as iron, manganese, and zinc, minerals important for liver function and immune response in animals and people. He cited toxic effects on the microorganisms in the soil that have disrupted nature’s balance and resulted in large increases in plant diseases. He cited livestock deaths from botulism, premature animal aging, and an increase in animal and human infertility.

    In an interview, Huber said that the power of agri-business has made it almost impossible to do research on GMOs and that regulatory agencies with the responsibility of protecting the public are dependent on the industry’s own self-serving studies and have no independent objective science on which to base a regulatory decision.

    In short, in order to secure bumper crops for several years, we are destroying the fertility of soil, animal and human life.

  3. I will continue to fight. There is no stopping me short of death. Have made up my mind of this. Nearly given up several times but I am renewed. It is important! Thanks David for making me stop and think about forgetting the fight. It is on!

  4. And Green Monkey…yes! yes! yes! There is far too much information out there for us not to take heed. So thanks for the above. Courage and strength is what is required for the fight. I shall try to develop some of more of those attributes!


  6. Why the issue of protecting arable land is important:

    Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse


    This study considers the relationship between a global systemic banking, monetary and solvency crisis and its implications for the real-time flow of goods and services in the globalised economy. It outlines how contagion in the financial system could set off semi-autonomous contagion in supply-chains globally, even where buyers and sellers are linked by solvency, sound money and bank intermediation. The cross-contagion between the financial system and trade/production networks is mutually reinforcing.

    It is argued that in order to understand systemic risk in the globalised economy, account must be taken of how growing complexity (interconnectedness, interdependence and the speed of processes), the de-localisation of production and concentration within key pillars of the globalised economy have magnified global vulnerability and opened up the possibility of a rapid and large-scale collapse. ‘Collapse’ in this sense means the irreversible loss of socio-economic complexity which fundamentally transforms the nature of the economy. These crucial issues have not been recognised by policy-makers nor are they reflected in economic thinking or modelling.

    As the globalised economy has become more complex and ever faster (for example, Just-in-Time logistics), the ability of the real economy to pick up and globally transmit supply-chain failure, and then contagion, has become greater and potentially more devastating in its impacts. In a more complex and interdependent economy, fewer failures are required to transmit cascading failure through socio-economic systems. In addition, we have normalised massive increases in the complex conditionality that underpins modern societies and our welfare. Thus we have problems seeing, never mind planning for such eventualities, while the risk of them occurring has increased significantly. The most powerful primary cause of such an event would be a large-scale financial shock initially centring on some of the most complex and trade central parts of the globalised economy.

    The argument that a large-scale and globalised financial-banking-monetary crisis is likely arises from two sources. Firstly, from the outcome and management of credit over-expansion and global imbalances and the growing stresses in the Eurozone and global banking system. Secondly, from the manifest risk that we are at a peak in global oil production, and that affordable, real-time production will begin to decline in the next few years. In the latter case, the credit backing of fractional reserve banks, monetary systems and financial assets are fundamentally incompatible with energy constraints. It is argued that in the coming years there are multiple routes to a large-scale breakdown in the global financial system, comprising systemic banking collapses, monetary system failure, credit and financial asset vaporization. This breakdown, however and whenever it comes, is likely to be fast and disorderly and could overwhelm society’s ability to respond.

    We consider one scenario to give a practical dimension to understanding supply-chain contagion- a break-up of the Euro and an intertwined systemic banking crisis. Simple argument and modelling will point to the likelihood of a food security crisis within days in the directly affected countries and an initially exponential spread of production failures across the world beginning within a week. This will reinforce and spread financial system contagion. It is also argued that the longer the crisis goes on, the greater the likelihood of its irreversibility. This could be in as little as three weeks.

    This study draws upon simple ideas drawn from ecology, systems dynamics, and the study of complex networks to frame the discussion of the globalised economy. Real-life events such as United Kingdom fuel blockades (2000) and the Japanese Tsunami (2011) are used to shed light on modern trade vulnerability.

  7. “A new reconstituted Future Centre Trust intends to be more vocal on environmental issues without partisan favour as our legacy is to future generations.”

    If that’s the case, why have Mia Mottley as a speaker?

  8. Rab land can still be used for farming.

    You can build Green houses and ponds for fish farming.

    No government will stop the sale of arable land to housing developers because Political parties benefit directly.

  9. “The Assault On Arable Land Continues Under Both Political Parties”


    • @balance

      Now that you have gotten that off your chess do you want to address the more important issue?

  10. As I attend one funeral after another of young women and men who have succumbed to cancers of all types…I know the answer is clean food”
    to turnthe clock back a little bit, you first have to promote a vigourous campaign to stop the spraying of crops and weeds. the indiscrimate use of chemicals through spraying have slowly entered the water system and has slowly contaminated our bodies to the extent that usually dormant cancerous cells are multiplying faster than before.

  11. @ balance
    Davild needs to be less partisan…..its showing too much..silly season or not…..just observing…..he needs to divorce himself…..difficult as it may be given how things are going….lol… or chapel…D

  12. The whole issue is that Bajans equate “development” to “Concrete buildings”.

    I have made a petition that still has yet to gain any kind of real momentum pertaining to the nation’s agricultural sector, only to fall on deaf hears and thickened (with ignorance) skulls. My sympathy is waning by the day as bajans persistently CHOOSE to ignore any kind of real practical solutions which could prove to be highly beneficial to the betterment of this society.

    Let the bajans stay in the dark, they like it that way….

    You ask “Why not have Mia Mottley as a speaker?”

    They can have her as a speaker but then Future Centre Trust won’t be carrying out their new stated police of being more vocal on environmental issues without PARTISAN FAVOUR…..”

    You consider her to be non partisan? Having her as a speaker goes against their stated aim.

  14. To those of you who will question Mia Mottley`s inclusion I will defend her inclusion fearlessly just as I have great confidence in the Minister of Health Donville Inniss the son of the fisherman from Bayfield, just as I think Minister Stephen Lashley idea of making Broad Street an Art Gallery on Weekends brilliant. However, I will also say his pronouncement on the alleged Rihanna concert was very un entrepreneurial if such a word exist. So who want to be blind partisans go right ahead as my conscience of is not for hire. When we invite DLP and BLP to event and only BLP show its partisan. Well I respect your opinion.

  15. Can we not just get along? Why the selfish cut throat politics? We were passed the mandate of caretaker by our fore fathers for future generations. The question must be asked are we doing a good job? It’s a question each politician, religious leader, union leader and decision makers as well those with the power to make positive changes must look in the mirror and ask themselves?

    No system is perfect and despite what we may hear perfection is always work in progress. However, great efficiency and competence is achievable. I have said the aforementioned to remind each and every one of us within the earshot of my voice that each and every one of us must be craftsmen of our fate and let no one tell you otherwise. Neither, boss, politician, priest, wife, friend or even foe.

    You are guaranteed the privilege of free speech under the constitution of Barbados however it’s not a license to slander. Lets look at the problem and stop wasting blasted time about Mia Mottley`s inclusion. We have a land use problem which is political due to a lack of forward thinkers.

    For immediate release
    Source: Future Centre Trust (FCT)
    Contact: Ms Nicole Garofano +1 246 836 6163

    Bridgetown, Barbados (June 19, 2012)

    Agriculture has come under the spotlight in recent weeks with the Minister of Agriculture himself standing up for his portfolio threatening resignation if Agriculture was not taken more seriously. With a greater dependence on internationally sourced food supplies, the country is putting itself at threat. “Pricing, supply, freshness of supply and access are all outside our control when imported food is on the shopping list!” says Nicole Garofano, Administrative Director of the Future Centre Trust. “Like a dependence on imported oil for the supply of the country’s electricity, dependence on external food crops simply because we are not recognising the value of our lands and improving those lands to feed ourselves, is detrimental to development in the long term,” she added.

    During World War II, the late Sir John Saint spearheaded a national initiative which ensured that the agricultural lands of the time were able to supply food to the population. The region’s supplies were under threat with U boat activity across the Atlantic. Sir John recognised the threat and implemented this national initiative which enabled the people of Barbados to sustain themselves during that time. A brave move for the time, but it worked. Can Barbados learn from such innovative plans of old and work towards attaining some measure of food sustainability again?

    There is the argument that speaks to the use of agricultural lands and that many acres of land which used to produce food and sugar crops are now lying dormant, so why can’t we just turn those over the money generator which housing is? The change of use of these lands is not just about agriculture. People need to work in agriculture; support from many levels needs to be in place to continue agriculture; encouragement for the revitalisation of the industry from all sectors needs to be in place to successfully continue agriculture. All of these points are valid. But we must also consider the many other benefits of leaving agricultural lands as they are – they reduce loss of valuable rainwater which recharges our aquifers; they reduce run off; they reduce something called the ‘heat-island effect’ which increases heat in the local area when there is so much concrete in place. More concrete is more heat, is more electricity to run fans and air conditioners, is less water available, is less open spaces where the population can improve their peace of mind.

    Speakers at the event include Senator Dr Frances Chandler O.B.E., Dr Chelston Brathwaite, Retired Senator and agricultural specialist Mr Keith Laurie, Ms Mia Mottley, and Ms Keeley Holder. The public are invited to hear presentations by the speakers and engage in discussion with a view to deliver the public view to Minister Estwick in support of his pleas in recent weeks.

    We have 166sq miles to make this country home, to feed ourselves, to dispose of our waste, to provide jobs, to welcome the 1.1 million visitors per year, to make a sustainable use of the resources we are blessed with and to enhance our general well being. Land use policies must be fervently considered to ensure a sustainable future for all those living now, and those to come, if Barbados is to continue to prosper in a holistic manner. What we do to our lands, we do to ourselves.

    All are welcome to the public meeting to be held on recently transferred agricultural land in Lower Greys Tenantry, St George at 4pm on Sunday June 24.

    About Future Centre Trust

    The Future Centre Trust is an environmental Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) and registered charity providing environmental education to the public of Barbados. Its mission is “To stimulate awareness and encourage responsible management of the vital relationship between people and nature leading to a sustainable future for all”. This is achieved through various programmes, activities and presentations to the community which are included and highlighted at

    • Politicians because of the influence they have on the system must be stakeholders in the process.

  17. Is this the same goodly Senator Chandler who was bold to declare yesterday in the Senate of Barbados that she would dearly love to see a war that would create starvation and that she would like to see all Barbadians starve?

    This takes me back thru the years when the plantation and slave owners could decide who should eat today and who should not eat, it is a very sad day, when in the year of our Lord 2012 a Senator could wish for we Barbadian people to starve to death, it is worst than sad it is pathetic indeed.

    • @Amazing…it is so really awful when someone says something in the context of a larger picture and those words are taken by silly people in the silly season to discredit… and also worse even to begin yet another whole discussion of what happened hundreds of years ago…lawd how we love to go down this useless path…we were obviously not tired of the destruction then so we just have to keep bringing it to the fore in order to cause more…

      Man! This is now…this question of losing agricultural land is a serious situation NOW…it is about food NOW. Being fired up because of the obvious neglect this sector is suffering at a time when we need it most, is something I can understand fully. I was not in the Senate. But it would not take a rocket scientist to realize that what Senator Chandler said was tongue-in-cheek…to prove a point. And yes! if there was a war, we would starve…so what better way to get this serious situation across than to take it to its ultimate point when ‘normal conversation’ about the problem seems to find itself imbedded in the crap our intestinal tracts are filled with – all that 2nd grade (did I say 2nd…perhaps I can go as far as say 4th!) chemically enhanced foods out of America!! Perhaps it is this that has so many good brains on this island just not thinking past slavery that was indeed a horrible horrible time for so many people but man! it was so dyamned long ago.

      And whilst we should not (never!) forget our history…we should also not dwell in the quagmire of gloomy self-pity and hatred that the politicos love to bring up when looking for a mass vote…and just move forward. Geez. It is so so tiring to have to hear the same rhetoric over and over again…all of it obviously brought to the fore every single time a truth hits a nerve! Time to stop it ’cause that sick nerve ending is not going away by covering it all over in a mask of slavery. And now I will probably get the blasting but it really is truly very very over the top exhausting.

  18. @ Brudah-Bim | June 20, 2012 at 7:22 AM |
    “Let the bajans stay in the dark, they like it that way….”

    You are probably now realizing what you are up against in your unflagging enthusiasm to get Bajans to see the light regarding agriculture and productive use of the limited land the Island has.
    All I can say, Brudah, that one day coming soon the people will wake up from their darkness.
    Bajans will continue to ignore these clarion calls until the following scenario is played out: The Governor of the Central Bank must finally admit that the country is fast running out of foreign exchange.
    A system of “Rationing” must be instituted. The Bank has earmarked the following imports for special review:
    • Fuels & oils
    • Medicine and medical supplies.
    • Educational supplies and overseas university payments
    • Profit remittances and management fees
    • Car and motor accessories
    • Agricultural inputs
    • Building & Construction materials and supplies
    • Food & Drink

    Then you will see what would happen when the foreign exchange cat is thrown among the fat pigeons.

  19. Barbados was self sufficient during the war and was well able to feed its people. It was self-sufficient because it HAD to be or the population would have starved. The land was used for the benefit of ALL not just the few with power and wealth.

    All people came together in order to survive. Is it a bad thing that the war made people more considerate and brought home to us what being “our brothers’ keeper” really means?

    Incidentally, a recipe book was in circulation to help poor people in the West Indies use the crops they produced to make delicious food. The book was called “War Time Recipes for use in the West Indies” by K. Hughes, October 1942 (All Profits for War Funds).

  20. @ Brother Annunaki
    “All I can say, Brudah, that one day coming soon the people will wake up from their darkness.”

    though I can on;ly pray that it will not be too late once they realize that. But, that in itself maybe too much of a stretch as it would seem that I am placing hope upon a lame-lamb.Scratch that, at this rate, I’d take my chances and gamble on the lame-lamb as opposed to the Bajan any day…

    At least the lamb TRIES TO MAKE AN EFFORT to change its situation by trying to stand up….

  21. Barbados was self sufficient during the war and was well able to feed its people”

    Please bear with me. i am not trying to be facetious or difficult but i respectfully ask ” self-sufficient in what’?

  22. @ Brudah-Bim | June 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM |
    I like your “lame-lamb” analogy. It will soon be manifested in the foreign exchange crunch that will be visiting us in a few months time; most likely by year end.
    To take liberty with the Mighty Sparrow’s calypso: Not only that “ya can’t make love on hungry belly”, Bajans won’t be able continue to talk “sh*te and don’t act with no foreign money in the bank.

    These are the circumstances to force the lame lamb to stand up and run instead of succumbing to the on-coming wild dog:
    • Significant reduction in revenues from tourism and international business.
    • Very little foreign direct investment.
    • With the country’s credit rating teetering on the brink of junk bond status access to foreign loans without instituting more stringent IMF-like fiscal and monetary measures would be like a tantalizing dream.
    • Dwindling remittances from Bajans in the Diaspora. As the returning nationals especially from the UK buy their final plane ticket to the other side the country would soon experience a drying up of this source of easy foreign money.

    Hold on Brudah, the coming times would witness the likes of you rising to the top –not to the top of the water like the existing crap who call themselves leaders but like a true ‘Moses’ to bring vision and direction to the future of Bim to save its socio-economic soul.
    Trust the anunnaki, it’s just a matter of months before the proverbial exiting sh*te hits the fan.

  23. “Please bear with me. i am not trying to be facetious or difficult but i respectfully ask ” self-sufficient in what’?”

    Food! Barbados fed its people during the war.

    I think we need to look at our food imports and try to imagine what would happen if the ships carrying the supplies did not come. We, at least I, already know what happens if the ship carrying cooking gas is late.

    We depend far too much on imports.

    Imagine what would happen if all our imports were hampered. It is not necessarily war that could cause this. Natural disasters, over which we have absolutely no control, could put is in serious trouble. What would we do?

  24. balance,

    I suggest you read “Confessions of and Economic Hit Man” and see if you notice anything familiar. We do not need a war or natural disaster to be awakened.

  25. @Amazing

    Truly amazing.

    In the same way the government has tried to mess with HOAD the institution. Now an attempt to do same to CHANDLER another institution.

    Well this government ever learn?

  26. Barbados needs all hands on deck. Thus partisan divisive politics must not be allowed to set in. Many with tunnel vision will not understand the danger of what seeds of destruction they are sowing until its too late.

  27. I know the parcel of land at issue . It acts as a screen to the housing district lying immediately south of it . If ever there was a piece of agriculture land that should be approved for housing , this piece of land fits the bill . As a matter of fact the land has been lying fallow for some time since it was last cultivated some years ago ; a crop of peanuts was the last crop planted . In addition the land can be no more than 10 acres .

    • @Objectivity..please – glad you mentioned “it acts as a screen to the housing district lying immediately south of it”… and also “if ever there was a piece of agriculture (please note correct English as agricultural) land that should be approved for housing, this piece of land fits the bill.”

      So, based on the above, can someone correct me if I am wrong in asking these questions? And could someone answer them for me too, if they require same.

      a) Surely land acting as a screen should have plants growing on it…and what better thing to have but edible plants. Green is the saving grace of bad air. So those living in that housing district surely are lucky to have same as their neighbour and not more concrete. Would this not be normal?

      b) Is it not true that in Barbados every little inch of land seems by some miracle of fate to be deemed good for housing…save perhaps reefs that protrude outta de sea, and slipping soft rock in St. Andrew, parts of St. Joseph and St. John, and even those got the house or two ‘pun dem?

      c) Is it modus operandi to get land by compulsory acquisition, allow same to lie fallow for some time, and then hold up hands and say “Oh! now there’s a tiny piece of 10 acres we can build housing on…that land only grew peanuts in its heyday.”?

      b) Does anyone throwing around anti-agricultural diatribe realize how many tons of food can be grown on even 3 acres of land?

      c) Would you believe if I told you all that with the correct methods (available by the way for free on the internet) implemented, that land of 10 acres could produce 3 tons of food per acre?

      Just asking….

  28. JUst Asking

    What is this thing with you and Corrie Scott in Times square. Did you guys win a competition or something …? Just Asking …

  29. @Objectivity, I love your objectivity. However, in 166 Sq Miles every land is marginal. In 166 sq Miles rab land must be used foremost and not fertile arable land in St George or. St Thomas. No one is saying efficiency of agricultural production can high on 3 acres. If shit had wings it would fly. Housing must be encouraged but not at the expense of arable land.

  30. @ Rosemary Parkinson .
    RE :Agriculture land / agricultural land . Your very limited command of the English language puts you in no position to be trying to talk down to me on correct English usage . The choice between AGRICULTURE and AGRICULTURAL depends on whether one wishes to use the word as a noun or an adjective . A peep at a grammar primer should allow you to understand why I have preferred ” AGRICULTURE LAND ” as opposed to the rather clumsy ” AGRICULTURAL LAND ” . Your interest in agriculture is no good reason why your us of English should be so agricultural .

  31. Oh oh … I think that I reading that in Barbados you might have to be White to be an institution … (awright awright … low blow … but wah)

    • @BAFBFP

      Isn’t that a stretch?

      The statement was made in the context of what has unraveled in days.

      Isn’t it interesting what is unfolding given that BU has been accused as racist?

  32. Truly amazing;
    I haven’t been following the blogs or the regular news carefully recently.
    Did Independent Senator Chandler actually say what you reported?
    It seems a bit out of character for her to have said something like that in a public institution where she could be quoted verbatim. Was she provoked?

    Of course I have little doubt that she could say such in private, given that some people who have position, power, contacts, proven ability to defend their possessions and hard earned wealth, often consider that they themselves would not be subject to hardship if a war or other deep calamity strikes the island. They are above that and the Devil take the hindmost.

    I do not understand your comment linking Senator Chandler and the Hoad Goat’s milk situation. Are you suggesting that there is some action now being mounted against an ethnic group by the authorities? The Goat milk problem is not a new one but one which goes back several years. No particular Government is complicit in it as far as my sources are aware. I don’t think it was or is a matter that ever rose to the level of policy or ministerial involvement. It was and perhaps still is a technical sub programme.

    re. the disputed change of use of land being highlighted by FCT, I am fully behind Kammie Holder on that one. Use all the ammunition you can to highlight the inequities in the system and to protect our agricultural lands which have suffered serious attrition under both governments.

    • checkit-out

      Simply making the point that Dick Hoad and Frances Chandler are two people who command enormous respect across Barbados.

      Are you saying that the technical program does not fall under the purview of a ministry? When the farmer who was being sold the milk went out of business who would have made the decision to sell the milk in government?

    • @Objectivity..please
      I bow to your far greater knowledge of the English language…I wonder what got into me being so uppity and chuped to correct you.

      Corrie Scott as well as myself entered 9 photos of our paintings to a group called ArtistsWanted – a non-profit organization whose aim is to connect creatives from all over the world. Thousands of artists and photographers worldwide entered. Both of our works were chosen to be shown for one night Monday June 18th 2012 on the billboards of Time Square N.Y. together with others whose works had also been picked out. We were also invited to the prestigious VIP party where artists, collectors, galleries would be networking etc. We were unable to make it to New York because of financial and time constraints. However…a photographer who happened to be snapping away managed to get one of mine when it appeared. All paintings that were shown had the artists name at the bottom of the painting. Both Corrie and I were very chuffed at having been chosen…and we hope we represented Barbados well. Neither of us has heard to date if any other Caribbean artists were chosen. To us it was an honour.

  33. @ Rosemary Parkinson .
    I hope for your sake that you would not refer to the Agriculture Minister the Hon Dr David Estwick as the AGRICULTURAL MINISTER …..Enough said.

    • Objectivity..please..

      You are right. Very right.

      In your infinite wisdom I believe you will ensure that I never make that mistake and if I have already, then all I can do is apologize to you and the Honourable Minister. Have I worded this correctly? Spelling?

      Here on in I will feel safe in the knowledge that you will ensure that my dreadful English is corrected all the time. And I thank you. Bless.

    • @Rosemary et al

      There is no need to suffer distractions about this matter.

      We are all about sharing views and that is the point!

    • BU’s position on Senator Chandler’s statement – “some good starvation in Barbados” – is that it should be taken in the context of all she has said and represented over the years. Most people know that Senator Chandler is passionate about land use and food production. She was obviously using an extreme position to make a point, perhaps out of frustration. The reaction by Jepter Ince et al is poison with the political. The government side would do well to react to more relevant issues. The silly season has truly started.

      Here is a link from another Barbadians who is passionate about agriculture:

    • @David….it was my fault for having corrected a scholar. It will not happen again. And yes! we should not stray from the point…because the point is what the politicos would like us to stray from. I stand on the side of agriculture every time against concrete…have tasted same and never like it…a bit tough… and caused expensive visits to hospital and stitches to keep my insides where they belong, inside!

      I have always felt that Barbados with the proper planning of a well-thought out model for agriculture could feed itself. Nevis is the perfect example of a well-thought out agricultural model. Dr. Brathwaithe, I am sure, is well acquainted with this for it was IICA that invited me to talk about the importance of tourism and local food back in 2009 in St. Kitts, and it was Nevis we visited to experience for ourselves that perfect model. It did not take a rocket scientist to put such a model together…their Ministry of Agriculture just did it. Simply. And it has worked successfully since inception with the people of Nevis benefiting in more ways than one. If Nevis could do it, why not Barbados? Why not any Caribbean country?

      For me the question of taking arable land and placing a housing scheme on it is nothing less than insulting to the intelligence of the people of this island. But worse than that in my mind is any group that is ready to make a stand but that does not, within its vociferation, proudly shout loud and clear that food must be clean and devoid of harmful pesticides and GMOs with edible animals fed clean feed and devoid of harmful chemicals for growth ‘and so-called health’!

      Otherwise all we will be growing is food that will inevitably harm us.

      I am hoping that such a ‘clean-food’ policy for the whole of Barbados will be the gist of the Future Centre Trust meeting on Sunday. Yes! we should be protective of arable land but should in the same vein be protective of what we will be growing on it. Have not read much about this important stance so far…but perhaps I am wrong and it will be shouted loud and clear right up to the implementation of same. We shall see.

      As the blind man said.

  34. “By the time a person has achieved years adequate for choosing a direction, the die is cast and the moment has long since passed which determined the future.”
    Zelda Fitzgerald

  35. Rosemary, the open mike session will allow for your input. I no longer buy grapes I grow mulberries on my lawn which are healthier and very rich in antioxidants.

  36. Its amazing how the spindoctors spin Senator Chandler`s statement the extreme reaction speaks of the manipulative ethos of our politicians. During the iceland volcanic eruption how many weeks of imported food we had in stock? Thus she was just saying only a war will cause both the BLP and DLP to realize the people starving due to their reliance on imported foods. Governments are given a mandate to look after our affairs even if it means making unpopular decisions in our interest.

  37. @ David .
    It was never my intention to nitpick with Rosemary Parkinson on the point of grammar ; my original post was intended to suggest that there is another perspective from which one may consider approval of THAT PARTICULAR PARCEL OF LAND for housing development . I know the area intimately having traversed it all my life . The village to the south had been virtually landlocked for years until the track that gave access to it was improved . Mercifully the plantation owners have not planted canes in that field for some time and that policy has helped to improve the lot of the villagers . These are among the considerations which I have taken into account to suggest that the relatively small parcel ( about ten acres ) is ideally suited for housing as a means of improving and protecting the tenantry to the immediate south. I AM NO SUPPORTER OF THE INDISCRIMINATE CONVERTING OF ARABLE LAND INTO CONCRETE . Rosemary Parkinson should be pleased to know that . However , when it comes to language , she should consider herself much more adept at the VISUAL use of language through her brush rather than the VERBAL use by the pen .

    • @Objectivity..please

      You are entitled to your view of course BUT we have reached a point in this country when all decisions to convert arable land to other use MUST be scrutinized and justified. There has been wanton disregard for our most important resource through the years.

  38. @ David .
    That picture does not provide a proper representation OF THE AREA ; IT ONLY SHOWS A PART OF THE FIELD . A more balanced representation of the area must capture the tenantry to the immediate south which the field screens .

    • @Objectivity

      The objective is to show arable land producing food. The optics is a secondary consideration.

  39. @ David .
    But certainly if there may be other valid considerations to JUSTIFY why a piece of arable land producing food should be approved for housing , then the “optics ” must , as far as possible , try to represent some aspect of the other side in the interest of BALANCE . Don’t you agree ?

    • @Objectivity

      Yes and no. For many the issue of land use has become mired in politics and shady dealings. BU has taken the position which saddles with our philosophy that land is our most precious resource. In the context of food security it looms large. The burden is on the other side to punish BU and like-minded with the other side of the argument.

  40. @ David

  41. @ David .
    I TOTALLY SUPPORT THAT VIEW , but must accept that governance is about PEOPLE and there will always be circumstances when the general policy may have to be REVISED to suit a particular situation . This is what I consider as the exception to the rule philosophy . And maybe , just maybe , the present dispute does present such an exception which should be explored .

    • Objectivity

      Sometimes there comes a time when some will dig in and make a stand driven by decisions taken in the past. The event becomes symbolic in such a scenario. The argument therefore is NOT about the land but about the incoherent policy of land use by successive governments.

  42. @ David

    “The argument therefore is NOT about the land but about the incoherent policy of land use by successive governments.”

    How so? Facts please.

  43. “Food! Barbados fed its people during the war.”
    if as i assume the’ food’ to which you are referring is ‘ground provision’ in nature, then i have news for you. The eating habits of the majority of Barbadians have changed since then because of the advent of and subsequent proliferation of supermarkets offering alternative tastes which provided a warped sense of upward social mobility and the perception ill-conceived or otherwise that ground provision was the poor man food.

  44. balance,

    You missed the point. When people are starving and have no “upward social mobility” food to eat they will eat whatever is available or they will make something available to eat by whatever means possible. Whatever you are eating land is required to produce it.

    The point is that during the war their was obviously a team effort which fed the population.

    BTW Have you noticed how long people who ate “poor man food” are living?

  45. Why should we use arable land in St Thomas and St George which represent the most fertile land in Barbados for housing. Do even posit the marginal land dogma as every where on this dot is marginal land

  46. “You missed the point. When people are starving and have no “upward social mobility” food to eat they will eat whatever is available or they will make something available to eat by whatever means possible”

    that might be true too; but such scenarios in our environment occur only once in a lifetime and for some not at all.My responses are intended to address the realities of the circumstances and/or environment in which we reside at present; and the reality is that the horse has long been out of the stable with regard to the fostering of a climate of acceptance for things agricultural.
    Some comentators have tried for example to explain away the negative impact the so-called’ cane blade speech’ might have had on inculcating in the minds of the masses that working in agriculture meant working in the field the boriling sun was a menial task only fit to be frowned upon.
    It is noticeable too that many persons acquiring scholarship in the discipline of agriculture have opted for other areas of work and we need to ask ourselves why if agriculture is seen as this important to the well being of the nation.
    In addition, i do not think it is by accident that successive administrations over the years have continued to pay lip service to agriculture despite the tremendous singlehanded campaign by the late Carmeta Fraser of ‘Food first’ fame to encourage the population to grow and eat local foods.

  47. @ David .
    Let me again repeat …I oppose any indiscriminate converting of arable land into land for housing .
    @ Rosemary Parkinson .
    You are obviously a good sport . So ” bless your heart ” in return .

  48. “some good starvation in Barbados” – is that it should be taken in the context of all she has said and represented over the years. Most people know that Senator Chandler is passionate about land use and food production. She was obviously using an extreme position to make a point, perhaps out of frustration.
    call me pedantic as much as you like but it is interesting to notice your conciliatory approach to the insensitive if albeit well-intentioned “starve the people” outburst by the goodly Senator as opposed to your bitter condemnation of the distasteful but aside remarks made by Mr Hoyos and surreptiously obtained from the Brasstacks program and i quote
    ” Last Sunday during the airing of the Brass tacks programme, listeners heard Pat Hoyos [moderator] make an apology to Minister Denis Kellman and many wondered what it was that Mr Hoyos had said that caused him to make the apology. It has now been found out. During a break, and unknown to Hoyos and the others appearing on the programme, one of whom was Mr Clyde Mascoll [Barbados Labour Party chief spokesman on economic matters], that the line was still open to Mr Kellman, Hoyos remarked in relation to the Minister Kellman “I give he five minutes and he talking bare shite “. Kellman insisted on an immediate apology before continuing his contribution. The apology immediately came from Hoyos.
    You were unforgiving in your treatment of Sir Roy’s May Day exuberance as welland rightlyso but unlike BU I view the unfortunate remarks by Mr Hoyos, Senator Chandler and Sir Leroy Trotman to be similar in nature and should all be painted with the same brush.

  49. @balance

    The way I understand it is that she (Dr. Chandler)meant that unless something occurred to cause us to not be able to IMPORT all the foodstuff that we consume, then and only then, would Bajans wake up to the fact that we ignore agriculture at our own peril when we are ALL faced with scarcity of food to eat. In other words only when we face starvation will we realise that we needed to plant more food. But hey, that’s my understanding, and I only went to BRUMLEY in AUGUST. You are, of course, entitled to put your own spin on it.

  50. do not get between me and bu mr hood and did i not sat that her statement was wel intentioned? so there is no question of spinning anything’ just trying to force bu to keep on the straight and narrow.

  51. Good evening BU.

    The remarks made by Senator Chandler and as reported in the CBC’s evening news on Tuesday 19th June 2012, outraged and saddened me greatly.

    Perhaps if I had not listened to the stories told by senior citizens of their experiences in rural Barbados in the first half of the 1900s, I would have accepted her remarks with more benevolence.

    Perhaps if I had not heard the stories of the deprivation which resulted from wages which could never have served to sustain the wage-earner and their families, wages which could never have been described as a living wage, I would have felt differently.

    Perhaps if I had not learned of the broken families, separated because the parents just could not afford to keep their children, I would have felt differently.

    Maybe if I had never learned of the mal-nourished children of that era who were left in the “alms houses”, I would have felt differently.

    Maybe if Senator Chandler had said “we” instead of “they” when she made her remarks about the cathartic impact that a good dose of starvation would have on my society, then maybe, just maybe, I would have felt differently.

    But I had heard the stories. And I have had a glimpse, through others’ eyes, of a time of shortages, deprivation and depression. And I view it with no romanticism.

    For many Barbadians, those were dark days. Difficult times. Hard times. Sad times. And the suffering of that era is nothing to be trivialised or brushed aside.

    I respect Senator Chandler as a professional who is passionate about her work and what she believes. But I believe that one who sits in the Senate and is granted the priviledge to speak on behalf of all of the citizens of this society and to influence legislation and policies for our nation, has a duty to be sensitive to and considerate of the needs of the society which placed them in that powerful position.

    I condemn the remarks which I heard reported by CBC that night as inappropriate and un-necessary.

    The statements should be withdrawn.

    By the way, which section of the population is it that is envisaged that would be starving? Is this section of the population who are to be condemned to this fate the persons that make the policies and pass the laws? Are these the persons who have large tracts of arable land lying idle, biding time until they can convert the land into golf courses, retirement villages and upscale million-dollar retreats?

    Yet I am expected to accept that it is reasonable for a Senator to posit the view that the poor people, people like me, should suffer this fate.

    I would wish that the real perpetrators of injustice would be the ones condemned to suffer. Unfortunately that seldom happens.

    • @Lest we forget

      Most Barbadians in their heart of hearts know what the Senator meant. Perhaps your outrage can be better directed at Arthur who sees the porakey parliament and all the other MPs who treat the place with disrespect.

  52. We know what Senator Chandler meant, but I understand why ‘Lest We Forget’ is not happy about the phraseology.

    Starvation is not to be taken lightly, but I also think that th Senator did not mean it that way, more as a wake up call, that many here on BU have been preaching for years.

    Reality is that the world is on an economic and by extension social, abyss.

    We MUST be able to feed ourselves and those who argue that we dont have the land resources are talking bullcrap.

    We have more than enough land, and further, with hydrophonics, even moreso.

    The reality is that we have to make ‘concrete’ decisions about the amount of ‘concrete’ we put…and NOT.

    But, we all know that there are those developers who seek only their bank accounts and not the future of Barbados.

    Little do these so-called ‘ business leaders’ understand that with a depressed world, their bank accounts are worth nothing, even if they manage to spirit plenty out of Barbados,. the New Yorks etc of the world also have as difficult a future, the stock market is not assured.

    Words to the wise.

  53. @ Lest we forget
    I left turkey wings in the supermarket…..looking more creditable than you…

  54. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    • The issue is even larger than arable land for agriculture. The government has as a key strategic push to roll out an “alternative Energy program’. Is it therefore reasonable to expect that ALL decisions must have at its core this strategic focus? Is it sustainable to build houses NOW and in the FUTURE which consume acres and acres of good land without integrating alternate energy features and new housing designs?

      If we see such reflected in implementation we can accept the trip to RIO.

  55. Persons attending the meeting please note: Location of meeting is past the Boarded Hall Police Station going towards St Philip at the Blue Shop in Boarded Hall

  56. For anyone who doubts that it can happen here, check out the situation in Greece. Economically we are not too far away from them, and they are npw finding it impossible to afford basic fruits and vegetables on the regular market. They are not happy, but they are doing something about it, and keeping their farmers going at the same time. They are teaming together to ensure a regular supply of vegetables, by “leasing” a small amount of the farmer’s land to grow their own. But instead of doing the growing themselves, they allow the farmer to do the growing, guaranteeing him an income, whilst they are guaranteed a supply of cheaper fresh vegetables. They can even specify to the farmer which vegetables they require. It’s the perfect win/win. When desperation strikes, these people come out and help each other. Could it happen here without the produce being stolen? Would Bajans get together to help each other? These are pertinent questions, the answers to which really do show the current state of our society.

    • A law should be implemented forthwith anyone caught engaged in praedial larceny or receiving stolen crops should be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years and forfeit all assets in their name as well.

  57. @David

    Maybe a minimum sentence would be more effective, otherwise we would have the customary slap on the wrist from the magistrate.

  58. I cannot recall ever being accused of being “bright” and individuals with muscular intellect should not find amusement in my bemusement on this issue.

    Due to deficiencies in my education I would be grateful if the following were answer for my continuing edification.

    What makes arable land arable?
    What make rab land rab?
    Can arable land be made rab?
    Can rab land be made arable?
    Can arable land that is close to established infrastructure and amenities be transported to a remote location that is considered rab?

    Re: Food security.
    Will produce be produced at prices to permit poor people to purchase or will production be predicated primarily on the preferences of persons with superior purchasing power?

  59. Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.We are a product of our past but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.The purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have no influence. It’s not about you.Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.
    I don’t know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone.Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.
    It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless.

  60. @Raw Bake.

    Rab land in recent times is land which land owners deliberately allow to become covered in bush so they can have an “excuse” to apply for a change of use from “Agricultural land” to Residential development land.

    In this era of Greenhouses,hydroponics and aquaculture all land can be used for food production.

    Wunna wrasse gine starve eff wunna doan focus pun food security.

    • This is the problem in our thinking and policymaking. It is ALL predicated on economics. It does not matter that we HAVE not food security policy. Growing some is better than nothing. The technology is there to carve out a niche but it requires leadership. And of course we are forgetting the forex savings.

  61. Thank you Hants.
    I never knew that. I always thought that rab land was land that was not fit for food crop production period.

    Can you find out from FCT, its agents or David (BU), if Landaster if Lancaster was arable or rab land? In fact do not bother with that. Ask them if they could remember what was the classification of Westmoreland, Bennetts or Warrens?

    How yuh mean starve?
    Don’t let nuhbody fool yuh Hants
    Poor people still planting kitchen gardens and keeping stocks. Never stopped. Me rasta bredren still eating Ital. We can’t starve.
    Ef yuh talking bout the middleclass well dah fuh lick dem, but I don’t think them gine starve either. The politicians and SBI got them covered and if push ever comes to shove, they can easily afford a ticket to better.

  62. At this very moment quite a lot of my friends are planting their gardens for food, fishing to get food and awaiting crops to get food. These people are not farmers nor are they used to raising their own food but now they are doing it because they just have to, even though they may be from the educated middle class. These are people who have never held a fishing line in their lives, raised chickens or livestock but are now learning how to do so because they just can’t afford the increasing price of a can of tuna or supermarket food. Lucky for them they have a garden or access to a bit of land.

    What about those less well off who live in town with no garden or access to land? It is for their sake that arable land must be protected. Should there be a crisis, food has to be found for them.

    If it is bush land, people ought to be allowed to farm it as part of a government scheme which would also compensate the owner if he can be identified. If not, go for it and let people grow stuff. Properly supervised the bush land would be returned to arable at no cost to the landowner. Saying this, areas protected as Nature Reserves should be retained as such.

    It’s time to STOP BUILDING UP THE ISLAND. The indigenous population of the island has not increased that much over the past 20 years compared to other countries, yet housing is needed. Not for more endless condos and hotels but to house the relevant number of locals who need it.

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