Agriculture and Feeding Our People

Submitted by Bentley Norville
 “…our food import bill around 800 to 900 million dollars a year …”

“…our food import bill around 800 to 900 million dollars a year …”

With all the recent and current talk on agriculture and our gargantuan food import bill a serious rethink on how we acquire our food is urgently required. With our food import bill around 800 to 900 million dollars a year we cannot afford not to.

When we look at agriculture as it’s now practiced we recognise that sugar cane cultivation accounts for most of our agriculture land.  A quick look at sugar production reveals that the yield as measured in weight per square foot per year is only 0.15lb/sq.ft./yr.  By contrast food production, using methods currently practiced elsewhere – see video –  can yield from 1.0 up to 5.0 (and beyond) lb/sq.ft./yr.

It has been argued that we need to continue sugar production for a number of reasons.  Following are the arguments against these so-called reasons:

  1. Sugar brings in valuable foreign exchange.  The foreign exchange from sugar cane is at most $80 million dollars net per year (counting all the by products incl. rum).  However, by developing a rational food production system we could reduce our food import bill by at least 30 percent in 5 years.  This amounts to 240 to 270 millions dollars of foreign exchange saved per year.
  2. Cultivation of sugar cane prevents soil erosion.  There are many other (and better) ways to prevent soil erosion.  Some of these include Permaculture, Contour tilling and planting, No-dig agriculture, Water harvesting.
  3. Sugar cane can be grown for production of fuel.  The argument is this is done in other places and can be done here too.  It has been found that this takes land for food out of production and leads to increased food costs.  Also, Brazil is often used as an example of energy from sugar cane.  However, Brazil has a surface area of 3.288 million sq. miles and a population density of 60.43 persons per sq. mile while Barbados has a surface area of 166 sq. miles and a population density of 1710 persons per sq. mile.  We need to take the position that Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore took many, many years ago, i.e. Singapore’s land was to valuable to be squandered producing cash crops for export.  We can put our valuable agricultural land to far better use.

We can produce food on the very smallest of plots anywhere in the country using innovative methods for which there is extensive instruction available (there is a individual with a 640 sq.ft. plot with 32 different fruit trees).  These methods include permaculture, urban gardening, bio-intensive gardening, vertical gardening etc.  (Anyone who wants to have information on any of these methods can contact me).

Its about time we start thinking seriously about agriculture, start recognising the link between agriculture, nutrition and health and stop bemoaning the fact that our food import bill is astronomical and we spend exorbitant sums on chronic non-communicable disease.  Producing significantly more nutritious food could go a long way in addressing both of these concerns.  By the way, The International Food Policy Research Institute has produced a document titled “Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health“.  You can contact me if you would like to have a pdf copy of this document.

52 thoughts on “Agriculture and Feeding Our People

  1. Bentley, the problem we have with agriculture has nothing to do with the facts that you have listed there…
    We have a set of people who detest anything local and who delight in any shiite that is imported. There are many reasons for this…..

    1 . We just HATE the thought that a local farmer may be making a successful living, so we insist that local produce be dirt cheap (and hence low quality)

    2 We feel that everything from away is better (for status) and are prepared to BORROW to buy such imports….even stuff rejected in their home country due to health concerns

    We have a set of jackasses in government (both sides) who allowed themselves to be manuvered into weak positions with respect to tariffs, market access, trade reciprocity etc

    4 businesses are largely run by selfish visionless morons who have NO conceptualization of country or development. They import inferior subsidized stuff from Timbuktu or Snowconeland rather that partner with local farmers to produce high quality brands….

    5 – we have local idiots running credit unions who have managed to accumulate billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of members….but have been unable to influence ANY shiite in Barbados…not even a supermarket…is THAT lame or what…?

    Fix those conditions Bentley, and your services would be in great demand….

    • @Bush Tea

      The credit unions? Where does the Church fall in the pecking order if we accept a Christian society position? What influence can the Church have especially the New Church?

  2. I have to disagree with you bushy, most the points are valid and the article encourages thought and discussion about growing food in way the nation has never talk about it before.

    Where as your number 4 is the only one that is the truth. What i have found is people want to farm but they just don’t know how.
    People want to grow there own food but don’t know how.

    This generation has no concept of the kitchen garden. You can’t expect them to just start to grow food like that. They must be taught how!
    It ent easy, plus it you grow it you have to cook it, way less cooking is go on in bim these days. People don’t know how to cook either.

    I like the point about growing food will save more foreign exchange than rum.

  3. What about the effects of Praedial larceny. That thieving act is responsible for many a frustrated farmer wanting to shut shop and give up. Barbados is fastly becoming an island of thieves and desperadoes.

  4. Well said Sunshine

    That is the rubber… and there is little that the “Parties” are prepared to do about it.

    Farming is a “product oriented” exercise and the “Parties” are comprised solely of service providers. Their financers are service providers, specifically retail operations. This is the God, Queen and Country way, living in service to the detriment of all else

    • The government seems hell bent on implementing legislation to remove the death penalty as an option why not push food security? It provides horrific insight.

  5. Every timei9 drive through the countryside from North to South/East , I observe acres and acres of idle land overgrown with weeds and bush. Am I to believe that the owners would prefer to keep these lands in this unprofitable state rather than obtain the maximum benefit from Agriculture or otherwise if this were possible? I think that vigorous efforts should be employed to place a ban on the indiscriminate use of insecticides.

    • The point made by Simple Simon remains the 64k problem. Who will invest in agriculture when the scourge of praedial larceny is wrestled to the ground. The case study of Patrick Bethell of Friendship Plantation is there to be learned from.

  6. Until corruption is controlled in BARBADOS and until you lock up persons for wrong doing regardless of who they are, Barbados will continue to face unnecessary hardships and problems. A lot of tiefing goes on and much more tiefing goes on higher up than lower down and those who thief , feel that they are smart -intelligent and have the upper hand.Lock them up whoever they are. Who will be brave enough as leaders to do it ?

  7. BT…..I agree with you and simply add that we lack the will to do it.
    I have said before that that the Agricutural potential of Bim has been overstudied over the last 50 years including making the Scotland district our bread basket,use of solar powered green houses to produce cold/cool climate crops and the production of local cattle feed.
    The elephant in the room that will never allow us to move forward is as BT said the Merchants.

    • Why is it in these times food security and agriculture do not figure prominently on the national agenda? Why isn’t there a deep narrative taking place at the national level, by the media, the NGOs, the MoA and citizenry?

  8. Following along from Vincent’s comments, what is the practicality of converting Greenland into a reservoir to irrigate the agricultural land in St. Andrew?

  9. @ David
    What church what?!
    …all they are good for is conducting ceremonies like funerals and weddings. Don’t you see that ALL of their extensive properties are in disrepair? ….you see the bishop court hill property….?

    The Credit Unions have NO EXCUSES. They have the resources, the membership, and MOST CRITICALLY, the SYSTEMS that mitigate against corruption…..ENFORCED TRANSPARENCY.

    @ Ready done
    Boss man, necessity is the mother of invention.
    Any brass bowl can learn to grow food IF it is either profitable or CRITICAL for survival. On the other hand, even our many agricultural PhDs will never grow a tomato as long as it is easier and cheaper to get one from SuperCenter – grown in the USA.

    @ Sunny Sunshine & Baffy
    Praedial larceny is a problem because the farmers make SO LITTLE from their work that it does NOT PAY to take steps to prevent it. Then a few small minded lazy low lifers reap what they did not sow….

    Why the hell do you think they don’t go into Big B and praedial larceny? …Them men got glocks, cameras, guards…….Wuh even the police refuse to be bothered by the theft of property that is treated like wild bush…..
    UNLESS WE PROPERLY VALUE THE PRODUCE OF OUR FARMERS…agriculture will continue to be little more than shiite talk in Barbados…

    @ David
    “Why is it in these times food security and agriculture do not figure prominently on the national agenda….”
    Because brass bowls are notorious for reversing national and personal priorities until it is TOO LATE…..

    ALL these problems stem from FOOLISH decisions we have taken over the years in pursuit of an easy life and first world status,…..while COMPLETELY ignoring the national and spiritual development of our people…..and where EVER there is no vision, the brass bowls will eventually suffer…

  10. Where is the White Paper for Agriculture presented to Government by Dr. Chelston Brathwaite? Cabinet still evaluating it?

    By RICKY JORDAN | Thu, November 28, 2013 – 12:10 AM

    BARBADOS PRODUCES 65 per cent of the food consumed here, and despite much fallow land lying about, food production has increased, says Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Dr David Estwick.

    He told the country yesterday that a White Paper on Agriculture, which should be going before Cabinet soon, would show that Barbados produced about 60 to 65 per cent of its food and that the island was self-sufficient in eggs, pork, chicken and a variety of vegetables.

    Addressing the opening of the first food zone at The Glebe, St George, yesterday, he told agricultural officials gathered at St George’s Parish Church’s car park that when the White Paper was released after Cabinet discussion, its findings on agriculture would surprise many.

    “When that document is released post-Cabinet evaluation, you’re going to be shocked that there is the usual hipshot reaction that because there has been a reduction in cane-growing and you see some added fallow land, that this is correlated to significantly poor production of food. That’s not the case. In fact, we have evidence in several areas that the converse has occurred,” he said in response to concerns about large tracts of former agricultural land now lying in bush.

  11. What is the latest with the Estwick UAE proposal ?
    Is the PM still looking at it
    Methinks the ayes have it
    But the NOs have to breed
    More Babies- Jones ‘ excuse for impregnating girls ?
    the Question still remains and it is this –

    Who got the biggest Balls

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagga –playing no games-balls or otherwise

  12. Baf said:

    “This is the God, Queen and Country way, living in service to the detriment of all else.”

    The leaders are still showing how in awe they are of the above man-made mischief and the people naturally followed all the bullshit, so everyone has finally arrived at the same place and at the same time…….confusion.

  13. Vincent said:
    “The elephant in the room that will never allow us to move forward is as BT said the Merchants.”

    AGAIN………the leaders in Barbados need to start showing some BALLS instead of padding their bank accounts, and let the MINORITIES that make up the merchant class know that the MAJORITY RULES.

    • The MoF stated in the Estimates Debate that the Scotland District is neing treated as a separate project which will be funded by the IADB. We can only hope and pray that it climbs to a priority list within five years. The focus seems to be on tourism nowadays.

  14. We continue to say it that the BLP and the DLP are two intellectually and politically bankrupt and discredited political disorganizations in this Barbados, and that they must within less than 4 and a half years be both removed from the political governmental landscape of this country by the broad masses and middle classes of people of this country or else in less than 8 and a half years – to 13 and a half years – it will become more and more like Jamaica.

    Now, according to the Midweek Nation newspaper of Wednesday, March 26, 2014, the BLP’s main spokesperson on so-called economic matters, Dr Clyde Mascoll, was reported to have identified in a presentation at the National Union of Public Workers, during a symposium titled Conversations with Tom Adams: Economic Crisis, Trade Union Relevance And An Almost Hung Parliament, three particular so-called economic crisis periods: 1982-83, under the late Prime Minister Tom Adams, 1992-93, and the current crisis from 2013 and projected to continue to 2015, under Prime Minister Stuart (Dr Mascoll must be some soothsayer, palm reader or something in respect of the very latter reported comment) – upon which were the bases for his carrying out some comparative analysis.

    Therefore, he was reported as having said that “the period under Sandy, by any measure, was more difficult than the current economic crisis”, and that the present crisis proved to be worse than the others in only two economic indicators – the fiscal deficit and the debt status. According the said Midweek Nation newspaper, he also said that inflation in 1982 was the highest for the three periods, Foreign Reserves were the lowest for the 1990s crisis, that economic growth was its lowest, almost minus 4.9 per cent, in the 1990s, and unemployment was also highest -24 per cent, whereas now it is reported to be aound 12 per cent.

    Now, if the newspaper story is correct, then any serious analysis (which we cannot do now – as that we can only do a sketching) of his argument that “this period under Sandy, by any measure, was more difficult than the current crisis”, would show that Dr. Mascoll was talking absolute rubbish.

    Let us quickly show why.

    Indeed, whereas Dr. Mascoll was cited as stating that this current crisis’s fiscal deficit is the worst, and the National Debt the highest, we are simply saying that these things do not have real objective existences of their own, and therefore cannot form part of any substantial rational discussion on the political economy and services industry sectors of Barbados. The same things relate to the misconceptions of Inflation and Unemployment. They do not exist in real terms. Too, these four concepts are absolutely negative concepts. They do not exist in the real world. Indeed, the fundamental fact is that because they are absolutely negative, they cannot cause any thing to happen in the political economy and services industry sectors of Barbados. So by Dr. Mascoll referring to these so-called indicators to support his argument (referred to above) shows how fundamentally flawed his reasoning and his calculations are and have been.

    Also, we must also tell Dr. Mascoll that when he evaluates for the government’s Foreign Reserves – which, is to some extent – a positive indicator, because there are foreign reserves that can be pointed to here in the core financial system of Barbados, he must nevertheless be very careful when he talks about such. For what is claimed by the Central Bank of Barbados to be the net amount of foreign reserves that the government of Barbados has at any given time is made up of a vast percentage of false fictitious electronic numbers (in 2011 around 65 per cent), and is based on a false and erroneous US dollar conversion into Barbados Dollars (Imagine the crassness and wickedness of the Central Bank of Barbados in measuring FOREIGN reserves in non-existent BARBADOS dollars in the indicator itself??)

    What also compounds the falseness of the methodology used to calculate the net amount that is portrayed as the foreign reserves of the government of Barbados is the fact that it does not differentiate between payments resulting from the Central Bank/Government investing proceeds overseas and the actual foreign reserves held here in Barbados. What foolishness!!

    Anyhow, given that there are these fundamental negatives, it therefore begs the question what are and have been continuing to cause this prolong political economic depression here in Barbados, given that it is only positive phenomena that cause such events and circumstances making up this dreaded depression that has for too long been enveloping the political economy and services industry sectors of Barbados.

    Thus, some of the fundamental positives that have been causing such are TAXATION, too big unwieldy dysfunctional inefficient government, and the astronomically high real actual cost of use of money, both local and foreign money.

    Now, were Dr. Mascoll to have been seriously examining these variables he would have known that it is these and many other relevant variables that have been constantly increasing substantially since 1991/3 up to now, and that have been adversely contributing to this prolonged depression in Barbados, which itself was manifested in 2007 in this country.

    Hence, too, were he to have been examining the pertinent facts available – and not fiction – and thus too drawing the right conclusions, he would have realized that, in the 1991/3 period, the agricultural the manufacturing the informatics the construction tourism sectors of this country were performing still better than now and had greater capacities. Thus, if the newspaper report is correct, again, he would not have been arguing that 1991/3 was by any measure more difficult than now, given that these sectors now are performing worse than then and have less capacity now than then too.

    Such brings us, for now, to our final point, which is this, that the BLP’s chief spokesperson seems to be thinking that it is primarily when the government of Barbados has been forced ( as it unwisely thinks all like now) to send home people, primarily when it is forced to scale down or eliminate programs, etc., that this is when the country is in serious political economic and financial crisis. Again, were Mascoll looking at the many pertinent facts available – and not many of the non-sensical relevant myths around – and drawing the right conclusions, he would have recognized that, in each of the periods he has looked at, countless individuals, businesses, and entities within the private sectors of this country were and have been having enormous material production, distribution and financial crises and problems of their own, so much so that rate at which the individual and private sectors (hardly/not the government sector) have been putting money into the core financial system is so much lower now than the rate at which it is coming out – a situation which bodes ominously terribly for industry and commerce in this country in the short and long term.

    So what 1992/3 worse by any measure than now what!


  15. David wrote “Why is it in these times food security and agriculture do not figure prominently on the national agenda?”

    They are waiting for a catastrophe.

    Barbados has enough land to grow all the food to feed the country and if we include the golf courses and polo fields there will be more than enough to export as well.

    Bajans at all levels don’t think any further than “how can I get more consumer goods and look rich”.Big house,big ride,imported likka an steaks
    and overseas vacations to shop for more “things that others can’t afford.

    Farming can be profitable but there are challenges and the governments of Barbados have not had the balls to make it viable.

    Thieves of food crops should be jailed with the “hard labour” of growing food while in prison.

    The time has come to force land owners ( ok people in glass houses ) to put their “rab” land into food production or lease it to people who want to farm but do not have land of their own.

    A case study can be found about what the Cubans were forced to do when the Russians cut off their support. No money,no oil, no fertilizer.

    Barbados is waiting until there is no forex to import potato chips.

    • @Hants

      If this government with Haynesley Benn and James Paul in its ranks can’t get it done may god help us.

  16. Barbadians are not members of a citizenry, they are members of a market, a captive one, for interests that are more than ably represented by the members of Parliament, on both sides, at both levels, in both chambers. Understanding this will go a long way in appreciating the futility of demanding change from that noble institution.

  17. @David

    Benn and Paul have no track record of introducing and implementing the radical policies that are needed.

    In this Barbados two party trough feeding system nothing will change unless there is a catastrophe and Barbados is forced to feed the entire nation without imported food.

  18. Benn and Paul .. ha ha ha .. I’ve worked with one and met the other around a table. Both are very good at representing themselves, and both sincerely (on the face of it) believe that they are on the side of good. Yep, but I agree with Hants, the two of them combined are not enough.

  19. Many years ago I was a member of a Scotland District Farmers group that made a similar recommendation to Adrian’s suggestion,except it was for one large fishing pond catering to local&tourist anglers,to individuals of both parties.

    Why have we not re-introduced a processing plant,since the decades long demise of the previous one???

    One of the areas of concern is planning,which leads to gluts.

  20. The importation of fresh vegetables is in the hands of a very few wealthy and low profile people who make an absolute fortune, and they are not the supermarkets. When a market is cornered in this way, then corruption is bound to creep in to maintain the status quo. Idle agricultural land should carry a land tax surcharge if it is not in production, as it did under the Adams administration. Praedial larceny is not stopped or punished because some of those who are supposed to make the laws are beneficiaries of the resulting largesse. I well remember a debate in Parliament many years ago on this very matter when a senior government minister, later to become AG, did not want stop and search added to the legislation in case he was caught with goods “donated” by one of his clients. You get it yet? Finally, Adrian’s point. Anywhere that rainwater is allowed to run off into the sea is potential for damming and creating reservoirs. I happen to believe that Greenland can become a centre for outdoor activities such as hiking and horseriding as well as being a reservoir for irrigation purposes. In fact, its ampitheatre construction has potential for entertainment as well. Don’t hold your breath because to get these things off the ground, money has to change hands.

  21. I just recently vacationed in Costa Rica. A number of things stick in my mind. First the hotel I stayed at had its own vegetable growing facilities on its roof top. This is becoming a popular way of producing food. I was also impressed that they no longer had a army and instead spent this money on their citizens which has allowed them to develop a excellent health care system that is providing care at reasonable costs to non national retirees. The official car of the President is a Hyundai. They obviously have it figured out and have very effective leadership. That is the missing link we seem to have…effective leadership leads by example.

    • @SITH

      You are saying we have one country (its citizens) who have traded status building for being practical?

  22. BAFBFP said “Barbadians are not members of a citizenry, they are members of a market, a captive one,”

    That sums up the problem.
    Who imports the vegetables? that’s the big question.

    Locals will eat what they grow and don’t care about polices or any such thing, if they grow it, they will eat it, unfortunately they have to know how to grow it. witch they don’t, growing food is hard, to grow enough food to feed ones family is a day job in it self. Being a small farmer in Barbados means that you cant get a credit card or a loan or nutting so. I don’t know why, but it does. It just means you have to live “off grid” unless you are large enough to employ 4,5 people but it takes lots of money and again the experience, it really is hard work, people that don’t farm have no idea how hard it is.

    i don’t thing thieving is as much a problem as we make it out to be, we have solders that need training we should let them train by searching for crop thieves, and what about pictures can picture be used as evidence?, and if a crop is stolen and someone is actually caught should they be a way to directly compensate the farmers,

    this in it self is a problem, does the charge “receiving stolen property” apply to supermarkets as well?

    Bush tea said “Any brass bowl can learn to grow food IF it is either profitable or CRITICAL for survival.”

    That is true to an extent but any brass bowl can learn rocket science too!!
    problem with waiting till it is critical is that you will starve to death long before your first crop comes in. so don’t think food gin become scarce and people gin magically start to grow food. no you have to know what you doing if you want to be a farmer. the job is so hard no one wants to do it, and plants grow them self, no labor fee charged.

    Building a food growing industry must start and continue with one crop at a time, i suggest the first one to start with is bajan cherries.

  23. @Adrian Loverage. Back in 1977-78 there was a project called “The Barbados Water Resources Study”. One of the working papers was titled “Scotland District Surface Impoundments” by one Bentley Norville. In it the location of 5 dams were identified. Some of the stored water was to be used for irrigation in the Scotland district.

  24. I would like to see a breakdown of our food imports so as to determine what items on the list of imported goods are or can be grown locally. Like Lamming inferred and Dennis Johnson before him, I suspect the biggest culprit is our changed/ing taste in food.

  25. @ SITH | March 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM |
    “They obviously have it figured out and have very effective leadership. That is the missing link we seem to have…effective leadership leads by example.”

    Costa Rica, despite its ‘dark’ past of ethnic cleansing of its indigenous population, is one of the most naturally attractive places to live.

    If only Barbados could establish greater and meaningful social and economic ties with that country (along with its neighbour Panama) then some day Bajans might sing with some measure of accomplishment about ‘fields and hills beyond recall are now their very own’.
    Then and only then would the boastful mantra of “a Barbados that is socially balanced, economically viable, environmentally sound and characterized by good governance” make practical sense of a population whose jingoistic claim is that of being best –educated, brightest and smartest in the world.

    Its time these modern day “smartass” educated Bajans look elsewhere to earn a living like their forefathers who went to places like Panama and Cuba and sell their services they claim they are good at delivering.

  26. enuff….the technology exists for us to grow anything we import

    What is of note that in the rural districts every one has revived their backyard farming a la 1991….

  27. @Bush Tea

    Some farmers are at the mercy of the pricing structure of crooked merchant class groups, which constitutes the many and not the few. However, a lot of farmers are interested in quantity and neglect quality. Locally grown tomatoes and sweet peppers tend to be ugly is ass. Well some that is; won’t be fear to say all. A lot of the veggie comes with bruises and discolourations not associated with its natural colour.

    Farmers need to spend a little money and corner off sections of the land for a green house type style of farming where they can grow their crops under regulatory controls. But I doubt if we gine get that sort of thing bout my island on a large scale. More than like government would have to offer a whole lot more concessions on the equipment needed to create a crop growing shelter, with cameras, humidity controls and water disperse systems. You know we do not think down the road. Why you think Agriculture is our number one on the “not so concern about list.” Its like how we treat Fish…Not so concern as long as I get my share for 30 dollars a hundred and do not have to go into the stink markets with the people that look just as stink. Well not all, some.

  28. S S Shine wrote ” Locally grown tomatoes and sweet peppers tend to be ugly is ass.”

    I hope you realise that the perfectly shaped, smooth tomatoes are tasteless crap grown to have longer shelf life and for uniformity.

    The tomatoes I grow in my garden in summer ugly too but taste “real”.

  29. Flying fish has become expensive in Canada. 5 in a package for $9.50 canadian.which is $17.22 barbados dollars.

    Expensive but still worth the price.

  30. @ Hants
    You see me talk anything about tasteless smooth tomatoes. My man, every consumer forage through the bundles of tomatoes and sweet peppers looking for the ones that ain’t got no bruises or spoilt bits. At the end of the day the consumer want quality and will look for the best no matter what. You think i defending the imports star boy…nah Jack. I just telling you that farmers must understand the need to preserve quality at all cost because quality is what sells. No one wants a whole bunch of bruise up veggies that turn you off from buying. Man listen to the point I mekking before you want to cast shadows on my Shine.

  31. @ Vincent haynes you notice it too! Every body in the rual area growing food in the backyard now. And yes we have the tech to grow what ever we like but you still need profit.

  32. @ ready done
    “Profit” can only come fro proper policies being put in place by authorities. First we need proper pricing. If we insist on seeing sweet potatoes sold at 50 cents per pound, them growers will ALWAYS be poor, quality will be low, seed quality will be poor and the whole thing will be scrappy….as we have now…
    Wunna know that those so called big countries SUBSIDIZE farmers so that they can then afford to improve quality and packaging etc to be able to then EXPORT to gain FOREX?

    Wunna know that they often provide ‘grants’ to brass bowl mendicants like us that are really designed to gather valuable information for THEMSELVES in order to take over these markets for themselves…?

    With clueless politicians representing our farmers – is it any wonder we always end up with the shitty end of the stick ….despite all the GRANT AID we have received over the years…

    Wunna fellows only talking about subsistence farming….shiite man, the uneducated Arawaks used to do that back in the 1500s…..

  33. @Enuff
    I suspect the biggest culprit is our changed/ing taste in food.

    We need another Carmeta Fraser, a few years ago I was in Oistins treating myself to some Fish and Breadfruit chips, next year they were serving the fish with frozen potato chips. I don’t know if Breadfruit chips has ever been reintroduced.

    Speaking of Oistins that would be a perfect arena for serving of local produce with fish, it could be marketed to Tourists “Come to Oistins for authentic local dishes”

  34. @ Bush Tea | March 27, 2014 at 10:06 PM |
    “First we need proper pricing. If we insist on seeing sweet potatoes sold at 50 cents per pound, them growers will ALWAYS be poor, quality will be low, seed quality will be poor and the whole thing will be scrappy….as we have now…”

    That is a major problem with locally grown food items. People want to pay “next thing to nothin’ ” for the local produce but would gladly go to the supermarkets and fork out big dollars for the imported chemically preserved bad tasting variety. In addition the same “West Indian” people living in the Diaspora have no choice but to pay shell out a few pounds sterling or US $ or Can. $ for two pounds of sweet potatoes or a breadfruit.

    Anything that goes into the human body and required for sustenance and good health should never be acquired on the cheap. In that case we would see a significant reduction in the quantity of food currently wasted and dumped and also greater appreciation of the invaluable role the farmer plays in the human life cycle.

  35. Public Notice in Sunday Sun of March 23 2014. Invitation for interested persons to participate in the planning process for the Community Plan for St. David’s, Christ Church to Six Cross Roads.
    Location is St. Patricks Church Hall, Ch. Ch @ 6 pm.
    Hundreds of acres of prime agricultural land being proposed for development.

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