Barbados Improvements Part 3: Agriculture

Submitted by Freedom Crier


Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) & Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)

Investigate the production (oil palm) as the replacement for sugar cane production including on hilly or semi-arid lands. The infrastructure that we have in sugar plantations is the same as required for this type plantation crop and we have an oil processing plant in Barbados i.e. Roberts Manufacturing. Just a small amount of retooling is necessary. The by-products of Oil Palm production EG: palm kernel meal can be utilised and be consumed as chicken feed, cattle, sheep & goat feed, instead of the importation of feed and feed stocks. The soya bean stock that is imported now to make Oil, Margarine, etc. could be a thing of the past. Palms grow well in Barbados from coconut to ornamental palms. It is easy to include/change to Oil Palm & Date Palm if feasible and the topography and climate are conducive to these crops (Date Palm a more high valued product to be grown in the more arid parts of the island i.e. St. Lucy, St. Phillip) Another benefit to oil palm is the use of the land between and under the trees for raising cattle and Black Belly Sheep. This will also reduce the cost for weed control. There is a host of information on this type of farming on the net and can be had HERE.

Palm oil Plantation                                                     Palm oil fruit cutting

The main objection to palm oil production are environmental such as the removal of forests to plant the trees and the destruction of the habitat for the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear, Pygmy Elephant, Clouded Leopard and Orangutans. None of these apply to Barbados as the land has been cleared hundreds of years ago to grow sugar cane. Utilisation of the idle land for productive and sustainable use will help to reduce the rodent and other pest populations currently in these areas. The selected oil palms bear fruit after 3 years.


Palm oil tree fruit







A similar palm tree, Bactris gasipaes, that bears fruit is Peewah or peach palm found in Trinidad. At this time of year it is sold like we sell Ackee at the side of the road and the fruit looks exactly like the fruit of the oil palm. The fruit is boiled and peeled and the flesh eaten. What left is the small coconut on the inside that you break open and eat.

2        Sugar Cane:


Government has indicated that it wants to keep the sugar cane industry for both production and aesthetic reasons with the countryside looking clean cut and manicured but a drive through the countryside you will see the amount of rab land that is idle and not the Barbados I remember. Most of the molasses used in Barbados is imported from Guyana. That is wise in that we import molasses and make rum and sell a value added product overseas as seen in Mount Gay Distilleries and to a greater extent RL Seale a contracted rum producer for the world’s best companies. Another product that we can make use of is the production of cane juice. Cane juice takes the major cost out of the production of sugar and every Bajan loves cane juice. Every tourist would want to drink cane juice, every hotel would offer cane juice. If the price was right. There are many health benefits for cane juice as the nutrients & enzymes probiotics are still present at this stage of production (Cane juice the new energy drink? Sure beats red bull) (and or create new signature drinks for bars utilising cane juice, a competition can bring out the best of our local bar-tenders talent. A rum and cane juice with a wedge of lime anyone?). At present cane juice sells for $14 for a half gallon in the supermarket. Imagine the volume that can be sold if it was wholesaled at <$5 per half gallon. The hotel industry will lap it up. If you felt that we still want to produce sugar how economical is that if you cannot produce cane juice for <$5 but want to produce sugar for $2.25 per lb. in the supermarket with all of the costs of production. Guyanese sugar sells for half of the Barbados sugar $1.10 per lb. We sell Molasses for $2 per gal at the port and cannot sell the juice for <$5? This molasses item is the cheapest item of food value in Barbados and we can import more from Guyana. Guyana does not have a tourist industry can we import frozen cane juice from Guyana if we cannot produce enough? A few small modern plants with the proper facilities can process the cane juice, filter & store it frozen or deliver fresh same day delivery. This item is year round revenue with a bump in extra wages for the tourist season as many more persons will be enjoying the juice.


3        Coconut:


We have a huge market for coconut water we know palms grow well in Barbados we should increase the production of coconuts for water and Jelly for the supermarkets and the Tourist market/Hotels. Beach bars sell branded coconuts to the cruise ship passengers now, and it does not cost foreign exchange. We however have a shortage of coconut water and its products now. The usage of coconut water can increase by many multiples utilising both the plantation system and small farmer setup that we currently have. This crop is year round revenue which means no yearly pressure months of high wages and waiting years to get the money repaid. This however depends on whether the trees are newly planted (you have to wait about 5-7 years before significant production starts.) or you use better farming practices such as fertiliser to increase yields from exiting trees.  All of the investigative work is being done by the Barbados Ministry of Agriculture. Just the will and literally seed money by the government is now needed to bring in the high yielding seed nuts. The proposed first shipment is about 6,000 treated nuts. These can be grown with the palm trees as a mix plantation crop during the same time the germinating and initial nurturing of the palm oil palms trees.


4        King Grass:


King Grass is a tall grass and is easy to grow. It does not deplete the soil of its nutrients and can be grown repeatedly on the same spot. An amount is presently being grown and sold as fuel to BL&P to generate electricity it does not require the looking after and fertilising like sugar cane plants. As an added benefit that hardly any one talks about is that this grass is loved by cows and black belly sheep as forage. If it is encouraged it may be the start of a beef and lamb industry. The more that cows and sheep walk to forage for their grass the leaner and tougher the meat, now with the advent of the grass being provided the animals will not have to walk and they will get fatter and the meat will be more tender and can be in greater demand. Barbados beef does have a nice and desirable distinctive taste but tough, only a real life experiment will tell if the beef will indeed be tenderer. With this king grass the dairy cows may be more tender when put out to market as their forage will be given them daily. Note: that this is currently done on dairy farms at present with other grasses in the form of silage.

5        Medical Marijuana:


Marijuana will grow well in the type of soil and conditions we have. Medical marijuana is the plant without the THC the ingredient that makes one high. To grow this we will need to process it to the stage of the oil and tablet form, not export the raw material. We want the value add to remain in Barbados. This type of item will be in greater demand all over the world while the rest of the world concerns itself with decriminalising the use of high THC marijuana for smoking. The medical uses for this type of marijuana have greater access to the world for a host of illnesses. This is the plant with great future use in the medical industry and would have a premium value attached to it.

See benefits of Medical Marijuana:

Marijuana growing and reaped in Barbados.


6        Perennial Larceny:


The obvious problem that no politician venture to talk about. They may talk about it as in “we import too many items we can grow here in Barbados” or “we need food security” or “as a nation we are living too high we need to live within our means” or “Buy Bajan” or “have your own kitchen garden” but never that the small farmer who tries and grows most of the vegetable crops in Barbados are being robbed daily by crop thieves at night, the large scale farmers have already given up. Why plant and tend a crop for 10 weeks and the last week half is stolen and if you set a guard the last week, the 9th week half of it is stolen or the guard says” I did not see anything I must have been at the other end of the field”. We now have a situation that the large farmers are out and the small farmers who supply the bulk of local produce only get to sell half of what they sowed. The perennial larceny law needs up grading. The penalties needs stiffening, the police needs to respond within 20 minutes and the people protecting their land/livelihood/family can be given permission to use any type of force including using firearms. Now you know why yams/onions/carrots/sweet potatoes/butternut squash/water melons/other melons/beans/peppers/ ETC. have so high a selling price.


Since the PM rightly so, has embarked on a plan to make Barbados Government work and work correctly get the AG to do his part.


Max Total Acreage  that can be Available
Suggested usage Acres %
King Grass 10,000 36
Oil Palm 9,000 32
Coconut 3,000 11
Sugar Cane Juice 5,000 18
Medical Marijuana 1,000 4
Total 28,000 100
Barbados has 28,000 acres of arable land


All of the waste that might be generated by these products/crops (oil palm/coconut etc.) can be utilised with the King Grass to be burnt to create electricity and any resultant ash can be recycle back to the farms/plantations as a potash source for fertilising crops.

Based on the topography of the hilly country side of St. Andrew & St Joseph those lands are presently not utilised, which is the better crop to use that will be easier/practical to get out of the valleys. – Oil palms and medical marijuana

BL&P can say now how much King Grass they can use now and in the future and if they want to use it as the main source for their boilers and the farmers can calculate how many acres are needed to satisfy BL&P with the rest for sheep/goat & cattle forage. No more Forex for furnace oil going out of the country.

All said and done Barbados can have a bright future in agriculture if the above are implemented and we have not touched as yet on the expanded role of the Agricultural station propagation unit in fruit (& other types) enhance trees or an education program how to….. Graph trees (Air Layering Propagation)/control pest/fungi/fertiliser use/their outreach to house holders. I have seen dounce/dunks the size of a golden apple and sugar apples/guava that could not fit in one hand. We need those here in Bim.

It will take a while for any vision of agriculture to materialise the fastest one that can start is Sugar Cane Juice followed by King Grass & Medical Marijuana. Oil Palm & Coconut have a few years before we can see the results. We can start with a real vision (like above) without which we will all perish.


See also:

Merit Based Immigration & Citizenship by Investment:


Barbados Improvements Part 1: Bridgetown


Barbados Improvements Part 2: Thoughts & Ideas



149 thoughts on “Barbados Improvements Part 3: Agriculture

  1. @ sirfuzzy August 2, 2018 10:45 AM
    “Legislatively they just need to copy and paste the Barbados legal frame work. Tweak it as times goes by. Two of three sitting in their respective parliaments and we have lost our “sole trader” status. The MJ industry may not be a long term panacea but my reduce some unemployment and possibly bring in some fx.”

    Why only the possibility of bringing in forex? What about the reality of saving forex?
    You must be aware of that financially well-advised adage that ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’.

    It is estimated that millions of US$ have been and still are leaking from the Bajan economy via the underground pipeline that leads to Ms Mary Jane’s purse in other territories in the Caribbean basin, especially St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    And this position is supported by the recent drug haul of which the scandal and intrigue surrounding that illegal catch could have been avoided if only the accused players were entrepreneurial enough to have cultivated and processed a similar quantity on the ‘Idle Hall plantation with the brand name “Redlands High Reserve”.

    Legislatively speaking, Barbados does not have to reinvent the ‘decriminalization of cannabis’ wheel.
    If Barbados can pass legislation which allows abortion to take place, why not the use of cannabis?

    There are countries which have already decriminalized the use of cannabis and have turned it into a profitable commercial undertaking. Just like what was done to tobacco and the sugar cane plant; or for that matter, any other plant that grows like the tree of good and evil in the knowledge garden of Eden. It’s just a matter of personal choice.

    You johns should stop seeing mary jane as a herb to be only ‘smoked’.
    There is more to the commercial girl call mary-jane than meets the nostrils and redden the eyes.

    So why not let the real crack(ed) heads use the ‘white lady’ to get their kicks off and leave mary jane legally to the rummies and yummies.

  2. @ Freedom Crier August 2, 2018 11:20 AM
    “Hemp Oil is LEGAL with multiple Therapeutic benefits except it does not have THC.
    The Therapeutic benefits of Hemp Oil……”

    Freedom Crier, for your information, Hemp Oil has been sold in Britain for some time now. Since the early 1990’s hemp oil in small dispensing cans and aerosol bottles has been retailed on the British High Streets at a pretty handsome price by the likes of Body Shop.

    Hemp Oil was also sold over the counter in the retail shop in the Eden Project Visitor Centre since it is compressed from the cannabis plants grown in the biosphere on a large tract of land in Cornwall.

    Barbados today is a most backward place when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit and drive. It was not like this when Sugar was king.

    What has gone wrong? It is because of the saying that when book-learning walks through the door carrying an overabundance of paper qualifications marked: “Competent in the Art of Bullshit (ABS), ‘Commonsense’ flies through the window?

  3. First of all barbados got to think and figure how they are going to get across the high water barriers that would be put in place before barbados sell the marijuana in a global market
    Look wunna got plenty ideas but the big players in the international market is not going to make it easy for small island to feed off their trough
    So miller who would barbados be selling this marjuana and in whose market and at what price
    Of course labour cost and cultivating cost and export all adds up to money and counting the cost of return when there are no available markets to meet demand can add up to zero

    • How do you mean there is no market? Wasn’t 500k worth of marijuana just intercepted from entering Barbados?

      Keep asking you to read what you write before you hit send.

  4. Georgie Porgie: I hear you. The Holy Spirit has spoken to me. I was just on the point of no return. For the sake of the Lord, I will continue to put in my two cents, as you say — one never knows who may read something and benefit for eternity by it.

  5. Man we are talking about a global market where the stakes are high
    The underground market is only acessible and limited to those who needs and can afford
    However when the market becomes wide open the stakes are different more competition prices fluctuate
    My question as to who will buy from these small islands are twofold the high regulatory barriers which would be designed to keep out small island competitors and the massive cultivation which would occur having only a limited few within the carribbean basin to buy
    Take sugar as an example the global economy has made it harder for small islands to sell sugar at a profitable market value which has resulted in small profitability and leaner production
    Look when we step up to the plate pretending to be big players in a global economy one must first count the overall cost

    RE August 2, 2018 7:41 PM

    Georgie Porgie: I hear you. The Holy Spirit has spoken to me. I was just on the point of no return. For the sake of the Lord, I will continue to put in my two cents, as you say — one never knows who may read something and benefit for eternity by it.



    THEY EVEN CALLED PAUL A BABBLER (spermalogos or seed picker in the greek)

  7. Miller…wuh if UK is the main exporter of marijuana…which means they have been growing it for quite some time only shows that like the US..they never stopped using hemp or marijuana although they criminalized it, it obviously was only used in certain circles and fly certain people in the past 80 years….while everyone else, especially black people were imprisoned.

    That is why I keep telling Freedom Crier…freedom is for everyone…but she still don’t get it.

    Caribbean governments need to open their eyes and accept, recognize and admit how their majority populations are criminalized, exploited and oppressed while they themselves as governments were used to do the criminalizing…..which in and of itself is still slavery.

    exfowl…ya are really a dummy…there are countless derivatives to be generated from Cannabis, there are no limits to the wealth that can be generated from the plant as long as the population…those who have decades of knowledge of the uses of the plant and how to extract the derivatives are left alone to do so…free from corruption, greed, jealousy and envy.

  8. And of course the distribution of land to the majority population is of paramount importance.

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ruling ANC will “finalize a proposed amendment” to allow land expropriation without compensation.

    Ramaphosa addressed South Africa’s parliament in Cape Town in February stating that the “original sin” of the country was the European colonizers taking land from the tribal people in the 1600s. The South African parliament passed a motion to take back the land.

    “The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate redistribution of land to black South Africans,” Ramaphosa said at the time.

    He went on to promise, “We will handle it in a way that is not going to damage our economy.”

    Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that the controversial reforms was “of critical importance” to the economy.

    “It has become pertinently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation as demonstrated in the public hearings,” Ramaphosa said in a recorded address to the nation according to the

    “The ANC will through the parliamentary process finalize the proposed amendment to the constitution that outlines more clearly the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can be affected.”

  9. Where The Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom and Liberty … 2 Corinthians 3: 17

    If you Understood that you would know what Freedom is and by whom it is Given… These words Preceded the Commandments.

    Exodus 20 (KJV)

    “And God spake all these words, saying,
    I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

    The Opposite is Bondage and Tyranny

  10. Bob Marley understood what Freedom Meant!

    Bob Marley – Redemption Song – live at Deeside Leisure Centre 1980

  11. UK is a big exporter of MJ? I would not be too surprised at that fact.

    Unless the Google info is wrong the below is where HEMP is grown commercially.

    Africa Egypt

    Americas, Canada, Chile

    Asia & Pacific: Australia, China, India, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand

    Europe: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine

    Great Britain has a hemp industry. Anyone here can see that moving to MJ to HEMP or HEMP to MJ should not be too challenging for those involved in that industry.

    So if we do pursue a MJ or HEMP industry in Barbados many of the larger market maybe hard to enter as they have established HEMP markets in EU & Canada. I mention those as those are the closest traditional markets to Barbados.

    My idea for the use of HEMP is to make use of the fabric and seeds. I am not sure where the oil is extracted from; either the seeds or the plant body itself. We can use the fabric to make garments(exotic to run of the mill), we also have Sea island cotton. so maybe we can have garments/clothing that contain hemp and SIC yarns. These garments will be uniquely bajan, something that is very hard to copy/counterfeit by others as we will be using the talents of bajans at all stages of production. Imagine a visitor walking in to a “bajan Clothing experience boutique”. They pick a garment they like. The visitor/client is measured and a customised garment delivered the next day too their hotel or picked-up at the “clothing experience boutique”. We using bajan talent and bajan fabrics to make this happen.

    I think this will increase the value added for all involved and has the potential to save and earn forex. As we make fabric for some of the clothing we require. Another example is clothing for the primary and secondary schools uniforms.

    If we really get it well oiled we can look at the internet of things, where we deliver outside of Barbados via a courier delivery. Here we sell authentic bajan clothing and the bajan experience to the world. Those that cannot visit our shores can still have a piece of bajan “pride and industry” in the form of a garment. This can help with unemployment; earn forex and save forex.

    Many areas of the bajan economy will be activated. land use via farmers growing the raw materials; small industry to make the yarns and fabric, the weaving of the cloth, the dyeing, cutting and sewing of the garments. The marketing and selling of the garments on-line or in the stores/boutique. If all goes well all many be getting an income from providing a product that has a high degree of bajan inputs if not all 100% bajan inputs. The product will also have a high value add.


  12. ” THEY EVEN CALLED PAUL A BABBLER (spermalogos or seed picker in the greek) ”

    Is this the same GP who would often use the same words to describe Dompey and Piece?

  13. @Sir Fuzzy August 2, 2018 9:24 PM

    This idea is a good one well thought out and can be added to the medical marijuana. The medical marijuana is easier to get to a finish product less production cost. The hemp idea has a few steps extra in the production E.g.: separating the fibre, treating it to the stage that it is soft enough then spinning to make material, dying with colour (I wonder if tie dye could work) other type patterns etc. before we get to the stage of making a finish product. Because of the extra steps of which we have no expertise some real work on the various procedures/skills/talent will have to be worked out. While the medical stuff is going on the investigation of the hemp for garments can go on. Good idea well done!×900/26946-Ayn-Rand-Quote-A-creative-man-is-motivated-by-the-desire-to.jpg

  14. Took a look at your master plan and believes it need more deatil
    1. What will we do with these palm nuts? Do you see them as something we can export? We cannot wait for three years for them to bear? Perhaps environmental should not be the first priority. Peewah is not that big in Trinidad.
    2. No emphasis on food security. Raising animals is mentioned, but this appears to be an afterthought. Ver little is menbtioned of food production in this post, and very few Bajans can eat King grass.
    3. “This item is year round revenue with a bump in extra wages for the tourist season as many more persons will be enjoying the juice.” For cane juice to be year round, we would have to import it from a number of different places.

    More details are required

  15. Your chart that sums to 100% need revising. We need to include a significan acreage for yams, potatoes, cassava, eddoes, etc.
    Section on praedial /perennial larceny is good

  16. • TheOGazerts August 4, 2018 7:08 PM “Took a look at your master plan and believes it need more deatil
    1. What will we do with these palm nuts?”

    FC…The fruit and the nut from the palm oil tree is used to make two different oils presently Barbados does import palm oil.

    “Do you see them as something we can export?”

    FC…We can and should export palm oil above our local usage.

    “We cannot wait for three years for them to bear?”

    FC…It takes 3 years to start to bear fruit and they reach the good yields per acre after 5-7 years under Barbados that will not change we cannot import the plants only the seeds (pests & health reasons).

    “Perhaps environmental should not be the first priority.”

    FC…It is not for Barbados all our lands are already cleared and the plantation setup ideally for oil palm production.

    “Peewah is not that big in Trinidad.”

    FC…It was put in to show that its cousin Peewah can be eaten and is eaten in Trinidad and a few trees can grow alongside the palm oil tree another fruit for Bajans to enjoy.

    “2. No emphasis on food security.”

    FC…You cannot have food security if you do not have a robust anti-theft system in place.

    “Raising animals is mentioned, but this appears to be an afterthought.”

    FC…This clearly has to come at a later stage, you first must have the grass and the feed stock from palm oil to then get to the animals. Glad to see you are thinking of how far these ideas can go.

    “Ver little is menbtioned of food production in this post, and very few Bajans can eat King grass”.

    FC… I know of no Bajan that can get King grass but we can benefit from the stopping of the importation of bunker C & kerosene for BL&P instead of the talk of use Solar & wind (no sun in the night and no wind many times in the day and night) we can grow away our dependence on oil let’s see how far this can go.

    “3. “This item is year round revenue with a bump in extra wages for the tourist season as many more persons will be enjoying the juice.” For cane juice to be year round, we would have to import it from a number of different places.”

    FC…Cane cannot only be cut during the normal season but year round.

    “Your chart that sums to 100% need revising. We need to include a significan acreage for yams, potatoes, cassava, eddoes, etc.
    Section on praedial /perennial larceny is good”

    FC…No big farmer is going to plant if the law is not changed only the small farmer who suffers the least loss as his plot has more supervision. The chart is a piece of electronic paper and that can change with the changes made.

  17. I am still here FC.
    Thanks for your response

    You have not completely allayed my fears that there is too little emphasis on food production, but we are in full agreement that an all-out war must be waged on those who are engaged in praedial larceny. Given our current dire situation, this crime should be considered and treated as a threat against national security.

  18. Thank you for your contribution TheO

    Barbadians also need to be encouraged to plant more ‘Breadfruit and other trees (mango, soursop, golden apple, etc.) for nutritious drinks plus passion fruit vines and every residential property growing flowers to support a National honey industry’ …The Agricultural Division offers these types of plants and trees.

    It is good to encourage self-sufficiency …We should strive to be self-reliant in all areas of our lives.

    What we are aiming at is Productivity on a much Larger Scale starting with what was suggested that will sensibly Enhance, Beautify and Propel Barbados economically forward in the Future.

  19. I saw a post in which someone mentioned boat building and it drove me back here…

    Are we exploiting and making maximum use of waters around the island?
    Do we have boat builders and fishermen?
    Can we catch enough fishes to feed our island?
    Do we have to import from other islands?
    A vibrant and viable fishing industry should be a part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security


    Enuff, is this guy still alive?
    Hon. Kirk Humphrey M.P. Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy

    Heard he got a big post but then he went invisible and silent. Too many chiefs in that small island.

    • The Blue Economy was created two months ago. It is a good strategy especially with the support of the RTOC. This is an untapped economic opportunity.

  20. “The Blue Economy was created two months ago. It is a good strategy especially with the support of the RTOC. This is an untapped economic opportunity.”

    Dear Blogmaster,
    What makes it a good strategy, or better than previous ones? From my vantage point, it looks like a rebranding of the Fisheries Division with some added PR around what was always known about the potential of making money from the sea.
    Or is there more to it?

  21. Dear Mr Blogmaster

    Thanks for your response. I know what the blue economy is, thanks. It is nothing new.

    What I was trying to tease out is whether this might be serious push at innovation around Fisheries and such like by the gov’t or just the usual hot air that we love in Bdos. I guess time will tell.

    As you are here, do you have any sense of if there are any imminent public pronouncements by the govt concerning our economic position. Things seem to have gone quiet on that front.


  22. Did we not have 15 shrimp trawlers sailing out of the Careenage to go fishing in the gulf? Was this part of the so-called blue economy? Wasn’t the Bayland built by generations of seamen? Was this part of the so-called blue economy? There are 3000 fishermen in Barbados, are these part of the so-called blue economy? Does Google replace the ability to define what we mean?

  23. Really Good informative Video by the GIS of the work the Ministry of Agriculture is involved in … Only hope that more will see these Videos.

    Those at the Ministry understand the Science in Agriculture and Sustainability and are helping Bajan’s to become more equipped, aware and engaged in home and farming production on many levels…That is a Positive way of moving ahead and prospering as a productive society.

    Thanks for sharing David

  24. Pingback: Barbados Improvements Part 4: Looking Forward | Barbados Underground

  25. Pingback: Barbados Improvements Part 3: Agriculture — Barbados Underground – SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS COVENANT HOUSE

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.