UWI, Cave Hill to LEAD the Charge to Revive Agriculture Sector

The press report did not list minister of Agriculture David Estwick as among the officials present when the announcement was made this week by Professor Eudene Barriteau.

Professor Eudene Barriteau, Principal of the UWI, Cave Hill campus committed the Cave Hill campus to developing 30 acres of land that was donated to the university by the Edghills of Dukes plantation in St. Thomas a couple years ago. According to the report USD34 million will be spent to develop an agri-business creating 1500 jobs, a break from the trend of planting concrete on arable land in Barbados. Further, the entity will be designed to facilitate training and research for the Caribbean region. One could hear the enthusiasm for the venture by Principal Barriteau as she shared details about what promises to be a transformative project.

The project is to kickoff mid-next year!

She said the project, which is expected to take about two years to complete, would also accelerate the thrust towards greater self-sustainability in food production and food security with a significant portion of the almost 30 acres of land being set aside as agricultural parcels for farming. In addition, the park will accommodate agro-processing and meat-curing facilities, a chocolate manufacturing and training facility, cotton processing facilities, a food standards laboratory, a sewerage plant treatment and recreational spaces…

The project is being funded by the Government of Barbados through its bilateral aid programme with the People’s Republic of China.

Barbados Today

This is good news indeed to observe the premier learning institution in Barbados leading the charge to resuscitate the agriculture sector. The economic pundits have all slammed the door of Barbados pursuing agriculture because of high production costs. We will monitor the debate with interest.

106 thoughts on “UWI, Cave Hill to LEAD the Charge to Revive Agriculture Sector

  1. David

    We are at a lost how something like this is workable when the overall architecture supports a food importation ethos.

    Barbados has signed all types of international agreements making local agriculture unviable.

    Now we have a leading academic institution, trying to find relevance, positing some Midas touch.

    We don’t know and are reluctant to discourage but has the Cave Hill Campus not deployed tens of millions on a cricketing centre and how has that worked for us.

    The west indies cricket team has been, while this co-called high performance centre was failing, relegated to the basement of world cricket.

    Who the fuvk are these people trying to fool?

    • @Pacha

      What some of us would do to have a look at the businessman. This is UWI, shouldn’t we give them the benefit of the doubt?

  2. As I have typed numerous times, agriculture as a business in Barbados will continue to fail until it is profitable.

    It cannot be profitable until it is subsidised because all of the food we import is from countries where agriculture is subsidised.

    The argument that four lettuce heads sold for 10 times market value to Sandy Lane tree huggers is going to make commercial agriculture financially viable again and reduce our food import bill is ridiculous. We need to give farmers useless Bajan currency to save valuable foreign currency.

    You could build all the classrooms you want to teach wagon-wheel manufacture; that does not mean commercially-motivated students will show up to learn how to do it or any more wagon wheels will be manufactured.

    UWI should spend the money building a real renewable energy teaching centre on the same location to attract practical thinkers from the entire Caribbean and further abroad.

    Plenty sun and wind in St. Thomas and plenty foreign students from northern countries would be attracted to a world-class education on the subject where all three occur year-round.

  3. David

    We are risks takers and for a country, for an academic institution, some level of inordinate risks must always be taken, no doubt!

    While taking such risks there must be compensating factors.

    If the national and global trade regimes allow a merchant from Barbados to import carrots at half the local cost of production, how can this initiative succeed?

    The government of Barbados can’t stop them under World Trade Organization (WTO) rulings

    When the country under this wicked DLP government allows Sandals to import almost everything duty free, how can local farmers, including the UWI, make this initiative work?

    We have known too many farmers who for decades have suffered under these barriers to entry. And they have been increasing, the barriers to entry we mean, for local farmers.

    This is an old problem.

    We would prefer to see the UWI dealing with framework issues, not details. There are many people out there, if given land, that are good at this.

    Would it not be better to first find ways to exit irrational international trading arrangements?

  4. David

    BTW, we have always had a certain liking for Ms Barriteau

    Don’t get us wrong

    And there are many forms of emerging agricultural practices for which a university could be helpful. But nothing could be achieved given the frameworks, the lack of land reform, etc.

    But shiite is shiite!

    • @Pacha

      If you factor the land was donated and the project financing is at a concessionary rate or grant funding perhaps there is room for a low rate of return? Perhaps the aim is to breakeven? Who knows!

  5. @ David
    Pacha is right.

    UWI always tends to look at first-world-inspired approaches rather than try to build on natural, indigenous, ‘tried and proven’ practices.

    Jumping into a multimillion dollar project such as this may sound impressive to the do-nothing PhDs on the hill, but it is about as practical as the equally idiotic multi-million dollar Harrison’s Cave development we undertook some years ago.

    Far better to develop some basic, well structured, green-house based, micro-farms, built around a small, but expandable agro-processing plant, with attached financing, business guidance and marketing support – and probably leading to a Diploma in Agricultural Management or some such shiite title for successful participants.

    Sir Cave Hilary started that UWI shiite of always wanting to operate like Bill Gates – even while broke as shiit…and can’t even get the hundreds of millions owed by Government…

    The only beneficiaries of this will be the consultants, lawyers and other professionals who will extract their ‘professional fees’ up front …before every one realise that the project is dead…..

  6. @ David,

    This UWI project could be successful.

    It is a good starting point to improve agriculture and create food security in Barbados.

  7. The only beneficiaries of this will be the consultants, lawyers and other professionals who will extract their ‘professional fees’ up front …EVAN THOUGH THEY ALREADY KNOW FROM INCEPTION that the project is dead….. ah lie?

  8. Sir,
    May I suggest that an agricultural project such as this could have been carried out in Dominica or Guyana, still under the oversight of the UWI, where there is plenty available land, leaving what little land there is in Barbados to be used much more productively.
    Such a development would still meet the security needs of Barbados – and the rest of Caricom – and the educational needs of agronomists and other young farmers. We must think outside the box.

  9. Maybe the video below from Brazil might provide some inspiration for this UWI project. There are already at least two Bajan projects implementing some of the agroecological techniques used by Brazilian peasant farmers in the video to nourish and revitalize their soils. I’m referring to Paul Bourne of PEG Farm on the top of Hackleton’s Cliff in St. Joseph and the Walker’s Sand Quarry revitalization project in St. Andrew which is making some excellent progress in turning an abandoned sand mine pit from a sandy desert into a flourishing food forest.

    See: visitbarbados(DOT)org/peg-farm-and-nature-reserve

    Soil, Struggle and Justice
    Published on Oct 24, 2014

    This film examines a cooperative of the Brazilian Landless Movement (MST) in the South of Brazil, which struggled for access to land and then transitioned to ecological agriculture, or agroecology. This MST cooperative is demonstrating the possibility of an alternative model of flourishing rural life, which provides thriving livelihoods for farmers, produces high quality and low cost food for the region, and rehabilitates the earth.

    The Director, Andreas Hernandez, is chair of the Department of International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College.

    (Video is in Portuguese with English subtitles)

  10. Hants October 11, 2017 at 10:30 AM #
    @ Georgie Porgie and Bush Tea,

    Have either of you been farmers in Barbados ?


  11. @Hal A
    May I suggest that an agricultural project such as this could have been carried out in Dominica or Guyana,
    The University is using land for the project donated by the owners of a Bajan plantation in BARBADOS, the University is using it in ways that they see fit in BARBADOS. Why should it be moved to another country and what would you propose they do with the land if by some quirk of fate your proposal wasn’t laughed from here to kingdom come?

  12. Sargeant,
    Are you suggesting a university-run agricultural project, based in Dominica or Guyana, even id they have been ‘given’ land in Barbados, is laughable?

  13. Halton Austin

    Is often wrong but on this matter he is quite right.

    That is the plan barrow et al laid out 50 years ago

  14. Sargeant,
    Donated land has nothing to do with the decision; it is the sustainability and contribution of the project within the wider Caricom community. But If that is your view there is nothing more to discuss.

  15. Interesting that UWI is taking itself seriously as an “engine of economic growth”, but we cannot really comment intelligently on this proposal until we know many more details.

    Barriteau is one of those know-nothing gender ideologues who pushes paper at UWI. So who will be doing the heavy lifting? That is, who will be the project managers responsible for all the ambitious deliverables mentioned in the announcement?

  16. Interesting…..Frustrated,Bush Tea&GP……are all making valid points.

    I see nothing innovative/new in this other than the optimal production of black belly sheep for its hide in order to provide leather for export……a worthwhile endeavour supported by COW.

    It would have made more sense for the UWI to use the site to do trials for the production of hemp most suitable for the soils of Bim,the same way Grove’s agricultural station did with cane.

    Aqua-ponics,again trials in order to show us how to do best practice.

    Likewise…..Solar Green houses….how to regulate temperatures for optimum production of different types of crops suited for cooler climes.

    A processing unit for food crops,a sausage making plant and all the areas that training is required throughout the Caribbean.

    Note the Ministry of Agriculture,CARDI,IICA all have sites to carry on trials for the agricultural needs of Bim’s traditional farming practices and they liaise with the farming bodies of the Caribbean.

  17. There are just too many shiite talkers in Barbados…. possibly a consequence of the overabundance of brass bowls to assimilate the lotta jobby.

    Why take a simple matter that can be solved bu adding and subtracting, …and try to solve it using complex calculus?
    ….because it makes shiite hounds feel intelligent?

    All that is needed is a VIABLE, cooperative approach that seeks to push agriculture as a PROGRESSIVE, scientific, profitable profession (which the shiite university could accomplish quite easily …except that the useless academic up there DO NOT SUBSCRIBE to anything but useless academic gibberish as worthy of their efforts….

    Set up a few LOW COST, Aqua-phonic /green house / controlled environment/ mini farms with production targeted to a small agro-processing plant with guaranteed sales – possibly all Cooperatively owned, ….and in short order, many INTELLIGENT young people will be into the business with gusto… bringing their CREATIVITY with them.

    Instead, we hear shiite about $60M investments…. being controlled by academic jokers who can’t even grow weed of the lawn variety…… and who don’t have two red cents to rub together.


    If UWI wants to save Barbados some money, they can simply get together with CXC and shut shop. We can send the damn students to a real- real university somewhere …. it would DEFINITELY be cheaper …and the damn students would be FAR more likely to graduate into something more than a clerk for some Trickidadian /Canadian bosses…

    @ Hants
    Have either of you been farmers in Barbados ?
    Bushie is (and long has been). State of the art too – Boss.
    But micro size ….for bushman consumption only.

    Will not waste good organic food on brass bowls….
    Let them eat Cheffette..
    ha ha ha

  18. @Hants that is the most sensible i have ever read from you. At least your brain is good for something. Never mind the intellectual johnnies who frequent BU with no other alternatves but to produce stage fright in the movie doom gloomers and nay sayer.
    Oh btw hants with winter right around the corner i suggest you keep the heater on high.in that way your brain would not be frozen.
    Looking forward to more intelligent comments from you
    Have a nice day

  19. Hal

    We need communities to function again,when last has anyone heard from the govt agency dealing with communities. These officers knew their communities and would approach an agency indicating a need for a club to fill a need.

    In the past the Min. of Ag. needed a steady supply of farmers hence 4-H clubs,the Police saw the need to nip violence in the bud,hence boys&girls clubs,the church had theirs and then the schools with the traditional ones Scouts,Guides&Cadets.

  20. Vincent Haynes October 11, 2017 at 12:22 PM #



  21. GP

    The future of Ag. lies with our communities and its young people and the 4-H clubs are a worthwhile vehicle to use to achieve it.

    This UWI Ag. project seems not to have the support of the Min of Ag.,I wonder why?

    I have indicated the number of agencies involved in Ag. presently operating in Bim and we know that the Ag. college is located in T&T,so other than optimising the production of quality black sheep hides,which is supported by COW,what other purpose will this new entity serve.

    Yours and Bushies point to benefit of the professionals is worthy of note.

  22. Vincent,
    I was a founder-member of a 4-H club operating out of Belmont School. I believe it was one of the first. The guy from the ministry was named Mr Sealy, a well-built light-skinned man who wore short Khaki trousers and white shirts. I am sure his children and grand children must still be around.
    He was remarkably helpful, and even got our minute books printed by the government printer. He attended all our meetings. Of course, we were in our early teens and had no idea of the potential of the club, but we swore to our heads, hearts, hands and health. When I visit Barbados I still point out to friends and relatives trees that I planted as a kid.
    It was one America idea that could be of enormous benefit to little Barbados.

  23. “UWI should spend the money building a real renewable energy teaching centre on the same location to attract practical thinkers from the entire Caribbean and further abroad.

    Plenty sun and wind in St. Thomas and plenty foreign students from northern countries would be attracted to a world-class education on the subject where all three occur year-round.”

    Brilliant…I believe it’s China and one or two of the hurricane ravaged islands have solar panels on the ground, no building required…why after the innovative solar heating and the death of Professor Headley Barbados totally dropped out from anything creative, innovative and refuse to allow their creatives and genuises to flourish……do they now realize it has been to their own detriment and downfall….they are now flat on their backsides because of backwardness.

  24. David October 11, 2017 at 1:51 PM #

    Yours is an outdated model given the structure of today’s society in Barbados.


    • @GP

      The majority of ‘new’ neighborhoods labour under covenants that prevent the kind of attitude to agriculture we need to make this sector breath again.

  25. Solar…Aqua-phonic… Hydroponic… whatever.

    These are not do-it-yourself technologies. To be efficient, you need to be taught by experts.
    How do we arrange for that?

  26. Bushie

    You think Bajans would ever be willing to endure the bitter medicine required to revolutionized the food industry, unless there are no other choices.

    It will require a lot of hard decisions including the shutting down of a lot of supermarkets

    Putting the country on death’s ground ( Sun Tzu). Produce or perish.

    Ban the importation of food.

    We might have to have a military dictator for a few years boosie. LOL

    This country doesn’t have any history of these circumstances.

  27. Can you tell Pacha is a mass-murderer-in-waiting (aka Marxist revolutionary) with an altar to Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot in his den?

  28. David

    Greenhouse technology is ideally suited for back yards as well as hydroponics and aquaponicsa,hence my wish for these modern age sciences to be taught at this new UWI complex.

    The time must come for poultry and rabbit rearing to be allowed the newer developments…..excellent fertiliser source.

    • Agree with that point Vincent but it does not lend itself to mass adoption and to the backyard. To get agriculture going bajans will have to encourage the Guyanese to come back:-)

  29. Hal

    I believe the Mr Sealy you refer was better known as “bright eyes” due his greenish eyes…..he was the longest serving 4-H organiser as the CEO was called back then when it was attached to the Min. of Ag.

    The Bridgetown Jaycees assisted the clubs to establish the 4-H Foundation when the Ministry could no longer afford the cost of running it…..they did provide an annual subvention and access to support staff and buildings.

  30. David

    I take exception to your biased BS.

    Pacha wrote about “bitter medicine”, “Putting the country on death’s ground. Produce or perish”. What the buck do you think that means?

    You are tiresome — with your coddling of this violent madman.

  31. David

    Many levels to approach Ag. from e.g. heights&terraces can grow trees and supply small quantities of coconuts,breadfruit,limes,pepper,passion fruit,mangoes,mammy apples,golden apples,fruits generally……greenhouses can produce potatoes,herbs,tomatoes,small crops….these can be sold to a central purchaser at a guaranteed price for him to supply supermarkets,processing plant or export.

    • @Vincent

      Good luck getting this middle class to replace the hyprid bushes to flower the fences with some pea trea and the like.


      Don’t be a jackass, the blog should not be about cussing commenters with monikers. Think about it. A good commenter is one who we want to read the message for its learning properties.

  32. Greenhouse technology is ideally suited for back yards as well as hydroponics and aquaponicsa,hence my wish for these modern age sciences to be taught at this new UWI complex AND IN ALL SCHOOLS.

  33. @ Georgie Porgie and Bush Tea,

    I used to know a lot about farming in Barbados but that was a long time ago.

    I was a real real farmer fuh trute. lol

  34. GP

    Schools are a problem especially with aqua-ponics,during the vacations problems arise with who is looking after what and when…….I had an experience with one school where all the rabbits starved to death over the summer period,would not want that to happen with the fish.

    About 25 years ago the new IICA rep. for Bim,who was a junior Ag, minister in Quebec attempted to explain to the BAS the benefits of allocating crops to farmers and time shedules……..to this day we still have gluts and famines.

  35. David

    Funnily enough as I was reading your post Min of Ag. Chieg Lennox Chandler stated on the VoB 4.30 news that they are undertaking a programme for householders to start planting in their backyards.

    I too wish him luck.

  36. Really interesting debate. The UWI’s proposal to rejuvenate the agricultural industry will end in failure for the reasons already registered. The remedy for ressurecting agriculture is simple: free up the land!

    Outside of Barbados there are many individuals and organisations who are pushing for a more sustainable community-led form of agriculture.

    I disagree with Alvin’s comments when he stated that we should abandon agriculture and leave it to other Caricom nations to become the bread basket for the region. According to Alvin, Barbados should concentrate on other niche areas to earn its living without stating what those niche areas are. Well, Well and Consequences posted that the country lacks creativity and innovation and i agree with her. Which would leave us little to fall back on apart from agriculture. As a society we should embrace – wholeheartedly – this industry. Within a short period the agricultural industry could become creative and competitive.

    By freeing up the land it will bring much required synergy to our economy. Check out the Urban Farmer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbHwAfHQA9M). To me this represents a more inclusive, bottom up approach for addressing our agricultural needs in contrast to proposals from the UWI.

  37. Go and buy some fruit trees.


    Buy some vegetable seedlings

    Located in Gibbons Boggs, Ch.Ch., we offer a full range of vegetable seedlings, herb seedlings, and annual flower seedlings. We produce the Seedburst Soilless Potting Mix and an organic compost. Come visit us or go to one of our many outlets. Seedlings are available at Carters General Stores Wildey, Barbarees Hill, High St., Lower Estate or Garden and Equipment in Green Hill, St.Michael.


  38. It is inappropriate to knock people for trying, and after all they were GIVEN the land, so they own it. Other than the 2 green monkey highlighted, we have several vegetable operations which do very well. There is money in planting the right crops.
    I know the UWI like government probably has plenty bureaucracy, and the consultants will be begging for a piece. Yet maybe the Chinese, or other universities can help. McGill has a very advanced hydroponics type set-up, I believe in concert with Israel.
    There is no reason Bim cannot produce quality products. And if subsidized imports flood the market, slap a duty in their ass? We just have to make sure we have the quality, before protecting a group.

  39. Northern

    You are partly wrong

    Barbados no longer has the national sovereignty to exclusively decide import duties, tariffs.

    Because of membership of the dominant trading regimes

    In fact, the imposition on duties/tariffs on most agricultural products could result in a WTO legal action by the exporting country.

  40. Northern

    When we are talking about feeding a nation, a region, a different set of orders of magnitude must be considered.

    These must include an abundance of water, Barbados is a water scarce island, with limited arable land.

    Another blogger early suggested what Barrow, Williams and Burhnam since the Treaty of Chaguaramus had planned – that Guyana, the land of water, be the bread basket. And there is no avoiding this.

    And while Barbados can do some agriculture we have never been convinced that the desired levels of efficiencies could be mustered in order to eliminate the massive food import bill.

  41. I wish this project well. I hope that actual farmers can learn from it and can use the knowledge to grow more and better food. I grew up in a small farming community and I still love to produce at least some of my own food. At present I am self sufficient in okras, spinach, avocadoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. I added yams this year. Healthy organic food, excellent exercise, good companionship, and a food bill that is nice and small.


  42. I wish this project well but as usual barbados is twenty years behind
    Organic farming has grown at rapid speed world wide. The slow speed by which our intellectuals proceed would always be a hindrance in our development to grow productivily and economically as the rest of the world moves ahead

  43. There is nothing wrong with teaching young students who are interested in agriculture. But, you have to create a market showing profitability. That market is controlled by just a few Barbadians. The agricultural society just preaches no exports, when exports actually cost less then local. You need a balance of the two with less regulation by the government, and influence by big business. You would have chaos if you tried to bring a Walmart or a Home Depot here.

  44. @ Simple Simon
    Thanks for wishing the venture well. The
    university is often justifiably criticized for
    doing nothing innovative. Most of the
    comments carry merit but let us get a more
    comprehensive understanding of the project
    before we declare it DOA.
    @ Hal
    The 4 H clubs, in their present format will
    be unattractive to our kids. We need to
    have a progressive agriculture program
    in our primary schools. Schools that have
    the land, should get students involved in
    cooperative farming to actually finance some
    of the schools’ programs. Future citizens
    must be exposed to the earning potential
    of agriculture, fishing, horticulture etc.
    In this way they will see a future.
    Please let us not make the mistake of
    believing that only non-academically
    students should be exposed to such
    I wish the project well.

  45. @ Vincent Haynes October 11, 2017 at 1:35 PM
    “The future of Ag. lies with our communities and its young people and the 4-H clubs are a worthwhile vehicle to use to achieve it.
    This UWI Ag. project seems not to have the support of the Min of Ag.,I wonder why?
    I have indicated the number of agencies involved in Ag. presently operating in Bim and we know that the Ag. college is located in T&T,so other than optimising the production of quality black sheep hides,which is supported by COW,what other purpose will this new entity serve.”

    As a person quite au fait with the trials and tribulations of non-sugar agri-business (having like many in their altruism, lost thousands of their savings in the Agro-processing project at Fairy Valley) you can bet that unless this project can have the buy-in and support of the likes of Massy and Chefette then this project would go the same way as the same Agro-processing project.

    If CLICO with its 2,000 odd idle acres could not make a hand of its Kinch’s Wakefield takeover why would the Cave Hill the new kid on the agricultural block as a reincarnation of CARDI be a game changer to the Bajan economy?

    The hemp agricultural research project (as you recommend) appears more appropriate for the Cave Hill gurus to focus on as a leading institution in the use of herbs in the healing of the nation and as a new-age enterprise to make John ‘Redman’ Bovell a real genius in agronomy and his black buggy chauffeur a proud son of the oil.

    Let the GoB first show the UWI the money like the promise to the CLICO policyholders and then you might just want to throw your agricultural dreams where the professorial principal’s mouth is frothing.

    The only game-changer in this whole agricultural / agri-business scenario is when the forex tank runs very, very low and choices and trade-offs have to be made between imported medicines for the fast-growing diabetic and hypertensive population and the same disease-causing processed food and drink.

  46. @ William,
    You are right to a certain extent, but the challenge is to bring the objectives of 4-H clubs in to the 21st century. In the 1950s St Giles had vegetable gardens, which I see they no longer have. They fitted in with the introduction to biology we were doing. Some of us also took ideas from the classroom home and tried them out – planting corn, sugar cane butts, sweet potatoes, etc. I also had to feed the chickens and turkeys, and clean out the pig pen before going to school in Waterford..
    In all this, we must remember the mission of a university is two-fold: teaching and research. It is not the role of the university to play at farming. It is not their job to feed the hungry masses in a literal sense. Yes, it is to feed people, but by educating them.

  47. https://barbadosunderground.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/prime-minister-freundel-stuarts-vision-for-agriculture/comment-page-1/


    Quotes from above address:

    “……….Dr. Chelston W. D. Brathwaite former Director General of the Inter American Institute for Agricultural Sciences (IICA), who, as Chairman of the National Agricultural Commission, carried out extensive research on the future of agriculture. Then with the assistance of IICA, his team put together a detailed document containing essential information for a White Paper on Agriculture.”

    “…….“…….the document was presented to the Cabinet in November last year, as a Draft National Agricultural Policy paper entitled: “A Vision for the Future of Agriculture in Barbados”.

    PM said in his address that the white paper was presented to Cabinet in November 2013. This is October 2017, 4 years later. Will the public ever see this document or will the Minister and PM just continue to refer to it in speeches and the public never get sight of it? Is it a secret classified document? Are the policies outlined in the policy paper being considered? Executed?

  48. Vincent Haynes October 11, 2017 at 4:37 PM #

    It was under Barrow that Town and Country Planning planned out the keeping of domestic animals. The new black middle class did not want neighbours keeping chickens, sheep and goats. They preferred to buy their frozen lamb imported from New Zealand, or their chicken from Brazil.
    The father of independence failed the nation.

  49. @Pacha
    You have to crawl before you walk? We must try. And if you travel to places like Israel, you will find similarly arid and challenging environments, but they make it work. Even if we cut the food import bill by 25%, that is progress.
    We have an unfortunate agricultural past, sugar and slavery. Yet modern methods offer opportunity. A good living, for which there will always be a demand.

    And the WTO? What a neutered body. Plus who gives a shit, when you have no exports, something to provoke retaliation.
    The last US administration instead of placing duties, removed excise and other levies on rums from US territories. Same thing. Preferential advantage. There are many ways to skin a cat.

    David, there are several in St.George.

  50. David

    You mind these people, man

    They will tell us about ‘world food day’ with one face

    And with others, will do everything possible to starve us out

    To disrupt natural, traditional, food networks

    Insert poisons, distribute food lacking proper nutrients, GMOs, transport food all around the earth and so on

    World Food Day is a celebration, like Christmas, for the business interests controlling the food industry.

  51. Northern

    The WTO, if they can’t get yuh on a direct trading situation they could attached their rulings to other assets. Trading involves financial assets as well, not just commodities. The WTO is essentially a court.

    Yes we must try. But we also known the Bajan mind well. And if you leave any room for any importation at all, we will end up where we are right now, 20 years on.

    We have to do this cold turkey. That’s the only way to transform this situation. Half measures would not work. We have been there already with Carmeta Fraser (rest in peace) and Branford Taitt.

  52. Miller

    We are spinning top in mud as usual…..the only purpose for this operation from what has been shown is the advancement of COWs black belly sheep hide project……have no problem with that,except that they should come out upfront and say so.

    We need a number of things to happen in order for agriculture to move forward in this country starting with schedules for all registered farmers with a set price to be payed for their produce…..then we need Ag. insurance…..remove taxes off of greenhouses,aquaponic and solar inputs…….thats a start,more to come.

  53. @Hal Austin 4:37 yesterday. Actually most countries forbid the keeping of chickens and pigs in densely populated areas because of the dangers of influenza transmission from pigs and fowl to people. That said Barbados is self sufficient in chicken, both for local and visitor consumption.

  54. @ Simple Simon October 12, 2017 at 2:11 PM
    “@Hal Austin 4:37 yesterday. Actually most countries forbid the keeping of chickens and pigs in densely populated areas because of the dangers of influenza transmission from pigs and fowl to people. That said Barbados is self sufficient in chicken, both for local and visitor consumption..”

    So how come you did not find those backyard farming activities dangerous when you were growing up in those halcyon good old days of no need for “motta” cars only Federal or Rocklyn wooden-bus transport?

    What happens when persons become unemployed through no fault of their own and do not want to go on public assistance either out of pride or fiscal considerations (sucking too hard on the taxpayers’ nipples)?

    Should they just up sticks and walk to the countryside to raise chickens and rabbits to obtain a first-hand source of protein? Or would you prefer them to give the better-off from the Heights, Terraces and Gardens blow jobs on Bush Hill or sell their donkeys in town for a Chefette or KFC snack box?

  55. Simple Simon,
    Not most countries. Most developed countries. Even that is questionable. Urban farms are very popular with school children in London.

  56. Yes Hants. I was aware of the Toronto decision. But please note that there will be frequent inspections and that Toronto has the capacity to carry out such inspections. No miller your suggestions add nothing positive to the discussion. Hal I should have said many countries not all or most. But the reason still stands. It is a flu prevention strategy. However yes indeed some, many, maybe most?bajans are poor great poppets.

  57. @ Simple Simon October 12, 2017 at 7:18 PM

    Simple S, you still have not addressed the ‘burningly’ hungry issue of the unemployed and others not in receipt of a steady source of income having access to ready sources of protein other than through praedial larcency.

    Would you then settle for the keeping of rabbits with those living in the ‘terraces and gardens’ having to turn their manicured lawns into warrens and vegetable beds thereby killing two birds with one hoe or fork?

    These questions are posed in the sincerest of manner given what is happening with people either unable to find work or losing their jobs against an ever expanding background of the rising cost of living caused primarily by a downward spiralling economy hastened by a series of unending internal devaluation measures (NSRL to set your thoughts in motion) and the fear that an external downward adjustment of the local currency peg would really throw the proverbial hungry cats among the yard-fowls being raised behind the Central Bank.

  58. I believe this to be a wonderful idea which i fear will be a lesson in futility as no post Independence Govt in Barbados has had any real interest in agriculture .

  59. Tudor,
    May I add a new dimension to this discussion – the introduction of futures derivatives in commodities. Basically, if an enterprising individual or organisation bought sufficient land in Dominica or Guyana on which to grow food, an equally enterprising Barbadian businessperson or organisation can contract to buy all or most of the produce at a set date in the future (there is no need to pay in advance) and at an agreed price.
    With that contract the landowner/farmer could raise funds from the credit market to work the farm, with the knowledge that payment for the produce will be made at an agreed future date.
    With such relative certainty it means the land owner could work his/her land and the buyer without the stress of worrying about the volatility of the commodities markets.

  60. China, the Middle East, Australia and India are all involved in producing food in Africa. We have hungry Africans working on farms to produce food for over-fed Arabs. Yet when it sis suggested that Guyana – which is bigger than England – can be the food basket for Caricom some Bajans, comfortably off in North America, are saying it is not a good idea.

  61. @Hal
    Can’t move on? I have earned the right to be comfortably off in North America (as well as Bim when I’m there). The article stated that a Chinese museum had an exhibit which compared Black people to animals, you should take the time to read it.

    BTW you also suggested that the project be moved to Dominica which is 308 sq miles and mountainous, were you also saying that Dominica could satisfy the food needs of the Caribbean too?

  62. Sargeant October 13, 2017 at 11:24 AM #

    Its been deemed to be, by the power that be, to be fake news……can you show its provenance…..show us comments from at least 2 credible world sources.

  63. @Hal et al
    Remember that business tycoon
    Kevin Simpson has already invested
    in a huge agriculture project in Guyana.
    I have not heard anything about it

  64. There is land available for lease in Guyana, approx a 1000 acres per lot, and there is no doubt in my mind that Dominica St. Lucia St. Vincent can grow and supply enough fruit and veg to feed the Caribbean, and T&T & Jamaica are not factored in to the equation.

    In my days traveling the Caribbean on business it used to amaze and disappoint me to see the citrus fruit rotting on the ground while in Barbados we imported from Florida etc. one of the problems was transportation and LIAT was no help what so ever in assisting with this problem.

  65. @ Vincent HaynesOctober 12, 2017 at 1:17 PM
    “We are spinning top in mud as usual…..the only purpose for this operation from what has been shown is the advancement of COWs black belly sheep hide project……have no problem with that,except that they should come out upfront and say so.
    We need a number of things to happen in order for agriculture to move forward in this country starting with schedules for all registered farmers with a set price to be payed for their produce…..then we need Ag. insurance…..remove taxes off of greenhouses,aquaponic and solar inputs…….thats a start,more to come.”

    It seems the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has ‘proactively’ contracted-out its responsibilities for agri-business in Bim.

    With a whittled-down MoA what would that 16 odd doctors in Agriculture be doing other than pushing paper?

    Is it possible for them to be contracted-out to the same UWI from where they were born and bred?

    That Ministry- although crucial to the future survival of the country- has always been seen in the post-Independence Barbados as a dumping ground for politicians and their hacks either as surplus to requirements or naughty rebellious boys in the Cabinet in need of good discipline like the neutered Pitbull Estwick.

    Why not make a woman the next MoA to see if she would be fertile and fruitful enough to bring about the change in direction the country requires as its international business sector comes under heavy manners from the Canadian tax police and on its way to be sent to Coventry in the Bajan economic desert?

    Please, Dear Ceres, let that person be a lover and patron of ‘Herb’!

  66. Tudor,
    In the old days we had schooners ferrying produce between the islands and anyone walking down the wharf would have seen people busy loading and offloading fresh fruit. Apart from LIAT, a commercial failure, we still have not worked out transportation between the islands.
    In the early 1960s the British gave the Federation three ships, whatever happened to them? Have they ever been replaced?
    @Sargeant, have you ever been to Dominica. Again, a delegation once went from Barbados to negotiate Barbadians settling in Dominica; we have also sent people to cut canes in Dominica.

  67. I welcome the UWI project and wish them well. The Ministry of Agriculture should have changed their name to Ministry of non agriculture. For the past 40 years they have been the biggest pests standing in the way of true agriculture development on this island. Not only have they frustrated farmers, but their lack of knowledge and reluctance to introduce new crops and improved ways of farming has done the island great harm. The passion for agriculture has been stifled and will take a gigantic effort to revitalize it.

    Take a trip down to Haggatts, an almost empty nursery, workers sitting by idly with very little to do yet the guard at the gate demands to know where the plants are going to when leaving. I asked why does he have to know, he said that was part of his job. I told him I can give any parish on the island and he wouldn’t be any the wiser and it is really none of his business where I am going to plant my trees after I have paid for them. This stupidity is prolific in many government run institutions. Imagine it is forbidden to enter the nursery to choose the plant you want, they will bring one for you to purchase, after which you have to travel a mile to the cashier to pay then take it back to the nursery to get the receipt signed and plant delivered, the go t the gate and state where on the island you are taking them. Many fruit trees are not available and when I ask why they say that is all they have and can’t do anything about it. The fields that were once planted with Cherries, mangoes and carambolas are in a state of decay and overgrown.

    Frustration has made me go outside to bring in new varieties of fruit trees to try here in Barbados. The Plant quarantine is another relic that refuse to adapt to electronic technology. Imagine you cannot access a permit form online nor can you submit an application , they refuse email a permit after physically submitting it. The amount of time lost in going back and forth is astounding. The USA are now issuing Phytosanitary certificates electronically and yet Plant quarantine refuse to accept them. How can we progress with this type of thinking??

    I have set up my small aquaponic system growing lettuce, I have started growing Pitayas, mamey sapote, loquats, longans and black sapote.

    So any initiative to improve agriculture is a welcome change.

  68. @Islandgal

    There is a large tree in the public parking lot of the QEH which was covered with fruit in September, I think was a mamey sapote don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, if you have could you confirm.

  69. Sarge I have never seen any fruit trees in the car park and I have been there many times last year and earlier this year. I know they have a date palm by the vendors at the front near the A&E that bears fruit but no one picks them. I will have to recheck and let you know. I hope you are not confusing Mamey sapote with mammy apple, these are different fruits.

  70. Islandgal

    This was a large tree close to the rear of the lot and I asked a few people if they could identify it but none of them could. It had flowers and some “fruit” on the trunk as well as the branches. I saw an article on mamey sapote and thought it had the same characteristics as the size of the tree and colour of the “fruit” seemed like a match.

  71. @ island girl
    Very good post. The bureaucracy to which you refer sounds like a 1960s government ministry operating in 2017!
    While successive governments are to blame for much of the plight of agricultre, we should not give the traditional(white) corporate sector a pass. One of the main contributors to the destruction of agriculture, was Barbados Shipping and Trading, which at one point controlled several plantations. You should also remember that both the BLP and DLP subsidized the industry and were often held to ransom by the sugar producers; almost every crop season was marred by the sugar producers reluctance to pay proper wages and extended wage battles with the BWU.
    The owners of the plantations refused to diversify and were not interested in agro industries or ventures such as the one now being promoted by UWI. There were tremendous opportunities both in the local tourism industry and export markets but they were not prepared to invest. They were and to a large extent remain retailers at heart- buy and sell ; not innovate and develop business people.
    Small farming with proper marketing and progressive crop rotation could easily provide immediate employment for at least 5000 people. Imagine if they had any interest in agro industries , where the economy would be today. At least 25-30 000 jobs would have been the norm both seasonal and permanent. It would have forced the UWI to embark on what it is attempting to do at present, a long time ago. Note that one venture is estimated to create 1500 jobs.
    So while some blame can be placed on successive governments, we must be honest enough,
    to hold the traditional white corporate sector just as guilty.
    Quite frankly, all the plantations that were in debt while the owners/inheritors bought yachts, race horses and racing cars, should have been taken over by the government forty years ago and given to the workers who were still working for slave -like wages.

  72. https://www.facebook.com/MNISpirit/photos/a.119087028129026.7848.103640209673708/1518413591529689/?type=3

    Montserrat Radio Echo shared ZJB Radio – Spirit of Montserrat’s photo.
    14 hrs ·
    Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and indoor
    ZJB Radio – Spirit of Montserrat
    14 hrs ·

    Montserrat’s newest appointed Government Minister Hon. David Osborne will preside over his first meeting as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) on October 28.

    CARDI’s Executive Director Barton Clarke paid a visit to Minister Osborne on Thursday to apprise him of the responsibilities of the position and to prepare him for the upcoming meeting in Costa Rica.

    Mr. Osborne told ZJB News he feels sufficiently prepared to take up the duties of this position, a role he inherited after Mr. Claude Hogan had his Ministerial revoked in September.

    Photo source: The Government of Montserrat’s facebook page

    (Left) Paul Lucas, Head of the CARDI office in Antigua (centre) Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Trade, Housing and the Envirnonment Hon. David Osborne (right) CARDI Executive Director Barton Clarke
    1 1

  73. Sarge I believe it is a cannon ball tree. With fruit growing on the trunk. Beautiful flowers as well. The fruit is inedible on that tree. There is one near to the Inland revenue and the Parliament buildings in Bridgetown.

  74. 97.333% of what is written about Barbados on BU is bad or wussa dan dat.

    I am not surprised at what Islandgal experienced at Haggats but extremely disappointed.

    Why has the governments of Barbados allowed Agriculture to decline to its current state ?

    Haggats should have been expanded and a program of continuous improvement put in place.

    In the 60s and 70s small farmers got support from the Ministry of Agriculture.

    Farmers growing fruit,vegetables and root crops benefited from the ploughing by government tractors and by selling their produce to the BMC.

    The MOA also subsidised animal feed and slaughtering.

    It is sad that Barbados has chosen to follow a high risk path of depending on other countries to provide “food security”.

    I gine in my little 2×4 garden an cut some chives,oregano,thyme an pick another tomato an a couple strawberries.

    • Barbadians use to be able to buy fruit trees from the NCC location on the Bow Road over by the Stadium. Not sure the status these days.

  75. David

    Slightly better than Haggats.

    Yes Ag. has lost its sting…..from the Halcyon days of Vernon Sargeant who came back from Jamaica in 1962 with the idea of spreading ag. amongst the youth through the 4-H programme, as he saw it in action in Jamaica,who had copied it from america.

    Vernon and Brighteyes Sealy with 20 odd Ag. stations and many field officers at their disposal started both community and school based clubs which served as the engine for keeping ag. alive.

    Ag. will rise again like the Phoenix in Bim…….a sounder,technological driven one…..the youth are into aqua-ponics and solar greenhouses already……..we will get there.

  76. Hants October 14, 2017 at 12:58 PM #

    @Hants, it is a mind set. Our key decision-makers focus on white collar professions – accountancy, law, medicine, etc – and not on trades and crafts or agriculture. A good symbol of this is that we replaced the Barbados Foundry with a white elephant of a court building, leaving the old court building dilapidated. The same with the Central Foundry.
    It is the mindset that allows Sir Hilary to talk nonsense about a graduate in every home, but a graduate in what?
    We must reconfigure our national ambitions.

  77. @Islandgal

    Thanks, I had never noticed one before and that one had been around a long time, I like to look for unusual plants/trees whenever I’m in Bim. I also saw an unfamiliar bird and was told it was a wood? Pigeon. Those birds must be a new import they weren’t around when I was growing up, but I was told never leave your car under a tree where they are roosting.

  78. @ Sargeant ,

    A few years ago I discovered this “new” pigeon.

    They eat clammy cherries and my car got a few splatters of their sticky excrement.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.