Let Us Discuss Food Imports Minister YESTWICK!
“It has been reported that Barbados current food import bill is in the region of $800 million dollars annually. The Minister of Agriculture has also stated that 65 percent of our food is produced locally. This means we import 35 percent of our food. Our total food bill is therefore almost $2.3 billion dollars annually. This translates to over $20 per day for every man, woman and child. Note that this is the cost at the point of production (or importation) and not point of sale. The cost at point of sale (supermarket, shop, restaurant etc.) would be higher to account for storage and distribution, profit, spoilage etc. To get an idea of what this means lets look at a family of 4 shopping for all their food in a supermarket. This amounts to over $600 per week or $2400 per month.
I find this hard to believe. Either the $800 million dollars per year is incorrect or the 65 percent is incorrect. I tend to believe the 65 percent is incorrect and the Minister has the percentages reversed. In other words, we import 65 percent of our food. If this is correct we have a very long way to go towards food security.”
The above was submitted by Bentley where he raises the issue of food security which should concern all Barbadians. Although many Barbadians are indoctrinated and intoxicated by the benefits of globalization, a man made construct, BU subscribes to the position that a country is responsible for safeguarding its basic needs.
Relevant Link: CARDI Agriculture News
A quick reminder, these are food, water, clothing and shelter. Any sensible national development strategy must promote an approach which assumes a measure of control over the supply of its basic needs by local government.
Surely in 2014 the citizenry of Barbados cannot remain oblivious to the risk of being 60%+ dependent on external suppliers for food. Now Bentley has been bold enough to question the Minister of Agriculture about his declaration that “Barbados is more self-sufficient in food production than many people may know.” where do we go from here? There was a time BU held the shadow finance minister of government in high regard, no longer. The appointment of Dr. Chelston Brathwaite as our Ambassador to China sums it up. Brathwaite is our most recognized and accredited guru on agriculture.