Idle Agricultural Land: Do Marijuana Growers Have a Praedial Larceny Problem?

The following article was submitted by Peter Webster to the Nation newspaper and is yet to be published – Barbados Underground

The Agriculture sector continues to be in a state of drift under the leadership of Minister of Agriculture David Estwick and CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul.

The article titled “Let Farmers use idle land” in the Sunday Sun 24.09.17 which claimed that “marijuana growers were constantly taking advantage of unused plantation land left bare by privileged plantation owners” is misleading social mischief. Barbados produces very little marijuana, probably less than five acres per year. Most is imported. The facts are:

  1. There are currently more than 1,000 acres of idle, uncultivated, small (less than 10 acre) agricultural lots in Barbados. Not just plantation lands are idle. Why?
  2. Most farmers in Barbados suffer from a lack of water (rain and or irrigation) to grow their food and vegetable crops other than those planted in September to November;
  3. The Minister of Agriculture once asked a stakeholders meeting of farmers what their problems were. They unanimously responded that their major problems were “praedial” larceny, “praedial” larceny and “praedial” larceny… What has this government done about praedial larceny? Do the marijuana growers have a praedial larceny problem?
  4. Sugar cane and grass for forage are the only large, field scale crops that can otherwise be grown and they are currently financial losers with an uncertain future. If we could fix the problems of the large field scale crops we would not have any idle land;
  5. The Barbados food and vegetable crop market is limited and this limits the acreage that can be grown in these crops. That is why food and vegetable crops often encounter saturated markets, with the farmers suffering financial losses;
  6. The Government managed plantation lands of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) and the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) have been targeted by the marijuana growers as much as the so called “privileged plantation owner lands” and those Government managed lands suffer as much, if not more so, from praedial larceny as any others. The marijuana growers look for the least secure areas;
  7. The foremost idle plantation lands in Barbados are under judicial management. Are those lands privileged?
  8. Marijuana growers have such a lucrative market that they are prepared to cart buckets of water to any hidden nook and cranny, with little regard to cost, in order to grow their high value marijuana and they are not just targeting idle lands but have also used plots within cultivated (sugar cane) fields;
  9. They may be lots of people wanting land to farm in Barbados, but it is a myth that there are lots of “farmers” in Barbados waiting to get agricultural land to cultivate. The results of Government “land lease” and failed “land for landless” projects is that four out of every five (80%) of those so called “farmers” have failed.
  10. The problem with leasing agricultural land in Barbados is that there is no civil justice. The last land owner who needed to remove a tenant took 17 years before the court and high costs to do so.

126 thoughts on “Idle Agricultural Land: Do Marijuana Growers Have a Praedial Larceny Problem?


  1. @ Simple Simon October 20, 2017 at 12:04 AM #
    “Since cassava is indigenous to Barbados, the Arawaks and Kalinago have been growing it here for 3,000 or 4,000 years, it is highly adapted to this environment and real real easy to grow.

    Be careful now SS, you don’t want to attract (again) the keen eyes of Artax in your ‘innocent’ attempts to mislead the BU readers with your misunderstanding of the ‘facts’?

    Like the ‘Potato’ (both sweet and bland) stolen by post-Columbus Europeans, ‘Cassava’ is a root vegetable indigenous to South America and was brought to the ‘Islands’ by the Amerindians as they migrated through the archipelago with “Ichirouganaim” (later ‘christened’ as Barbadoes), although off the beaten, still able to attract its share of visitors.

    Next time- as you stand away from the bus stop awaiting your friendly ZR driver- you might find yourself haphazardly arguing as a matter of fact that the sugarcane plant is also “indigenous” to Barbados just because of the ‘innovative’ work of John ‘Redman’ Bovell and his ‘unrecognized’ ‘black’ chauffeur.


  2. It is interesting to observe James Paul participating in a press conference to share his view on the Straughn suggestion to privatize the Transport Board when agriculture has been steadily declining under his (administration) leadership. What is the priority? How should the people fairly judge his performance?


  3. @millertheanunnaki October 20, 2017 at 8:07 AM “Like the ‘Potato’ (both sweet and bland) stolen by post-Columbus Europeans, ‘Cassava’ is a root vegetable indigenous to South America.”

    So if a plant has been grown in Barbados for thousands of years and it is still an immigrant, when may i ask will it become indigenous?

    I was in Queen’s Park yesterday looking at the baobob tree and there is a sign that says it is 1,000 years old but not native to Barbados.

    A question for wunna scholars. If a tree was hatched and grew up in Barbados and has not stepped foot out of Barbados for more than 1,000 years at what point does it does it become indigenous?

    That tree is more Bajan that me or you or any ‘o we.

    The nerve of some Johnnie come lately human being referring to it as an immigrant.

    Lol.

    G’night, miller etc.


  4. A question for wunna scholars. If a tree was hatched and grew up in Barbados and has not stepped foot out of Barbados for more than 1,000 years at what point does it does it become indigenous?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Is the Kangaroo indigenous to Australia?

    When did the aboriginies arrive?

    Are aboriginies indigenous to Australia?

    Everything started from scratch after the flood … nothing is indigenous … to anywhere!!

    Perhaps the Baobab seed first immigrated here in the flood or afterwards, from where, who knows!!

    Doesn’t get more simple than that.

    No scholarship involved!!

    The simple answer is … nothing is indigenous … anywhere in the world you happen to go!!

    The indigenous peoples of the Americas are really not indigenous at all!!

    They were descendants of the first immigrants to America.

    So, in conclusion, nothing is indigenous, everything and everybody is an immigrant, passing through on their journey through life.


    • Paul cant even get the hotel sector to procure its fair share of local produce. He should shut up and continue to do nothing.


  5. David

    Spot on……As a member of govt unable to get your ideas passed either say nothing as Estwick at present or resign before being shortly put out to pasture.


  6. @ Vincent Haynes October 21, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Just a bunch of motor-mouth hypocrites full sound and fury signifying nothing.
    James Paul’s favourite eating establishment just happens to be Chefette.

    What we want to hear from James Paul and the neutered pit-bull Estwick left with no balls but all squeak is their position on the decriminalization and local production of marijuana for medicinal and commercial purposes.

    How does the political pipsqueak Paul feel about the unemployed young men who are not members of any fictitious gangs in his constituency being sent to prison for the use of an ‘innocent’ herb in order to ‘kill’ idle time?

    Why not promote the local production of the herb as a profitable means of import substitution while providing the opportunity for the same young men to be productively employed in its cultivation, processing and distribution to really bring genuine economic enfranchisement to the same young black masses his own deceitful lying party likes to brag about and promote as only good for participation in the David Thompson Memorial Football Tournament under the influence of the imported variety of the same mary jane.


  7. Thanks David.

    Caricom has CARDI and all govts have access to the UWI Tropical College of Ag. at St.Augustine as well as IICA,FAO and numerous resources from countries involved in Ag. from all over the world.

    All of the above have submitted requested papers on sustainable Ag. for Bim over the years…….go figure.


  8. @John October 21, 2017 at 5:26 AM “Everything started from scratch after the flood…nothing is indigenous…to anywhere!!”

    Dear John:

    You are in the Scripture class and I am in the Science class.

    I am always a little wary of people who say that nothing and nobody is indigenous. Too often in history class it has been proven that such people are up to no good.

    Bye John.


  9. You are in the Scripture class and I am in the Science class.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I have done more than my fair share of science, and, ….. probably a lot more than you!!


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    Drought Follows the Plow

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  11. @ October 22, 2017 at 1:18 PM #
    “You are in the Scripture class and I am in the Science class.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I have done more than my fair share of science, and, ….. probably a lot more than you!!@

    Yet you want us to accept as a ‘scientific fact’ your strong belief in the Judeo creation myth of the planet called Earth and everything else in the universe made up of billions of galaxies, trillions of stars and zillions of planets are less than 10,000 solar years old and all made in 6 days by a omniscient, omnipotent supreme being from outer space called Yahweh who happened to have made the avoidable mistake of creating a most mentally vulnerable and physically defective thing called ‘man’ from which sprung ‘woman’ causing a the biologically impossible event to take place.

    Only one other idiot on BU accepts your ‘scientific’ assertion; Zoe, the other occupant of the bat mobile for religious nutters.

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