Agrofest Noise!

The Editor

Barbados Underground

Barbados,W.I

Dear Sir/Madam,

There was an article in Barbados Today of 16th.February 2019 entitled “Dumped.” In the article Mr. James Paul bemoans the fact that the two largest sponsors have jumped ship.

In 1971 as a final year student in agriculture at the University of the West indies, St. Augustine Campus;Tom Henderson, Professor of Agricultural Extension had the following to say about agricultural exhibitions: he considered them to be expensive and ineffectual in getting persons interested in agriculture. He admitted that exhibitions (Agrofest is an exhibition) were glittery but were not good at getting results. Instead, he pointed out that it was better to utilize “method demonstrations”when trying to influence persons to take up a career in agriculture. In method demonstrations, the extension officer works intimately with a small group, demonstrating lets say on how to bud and graft fruit trees, getting them to actively participate in the process. (I actually did this at Soil Conservation and trained lots of people to bud and graft and even published an extension bulletin on the topic, so I am speaking from personal experience here).

Last year after Agrofest, Paul was interviewed by David Ellis on Down to Brass Tacks. Ellis wanted to know what were the long term goals for Agrofest and agriculture as seen from Paul’s perspective. Paul spewed out the usual spiel about getting drying facilities for onions and so on. Dr. Brian Eavis did all of what Paul was talking about in late 1960’s and early1970’s. Not surprisingly, there was no vision on Paul’s part. There was no plan for thirty years down the road. For example like increasing yield of alcohol from molasses by either genetic modification or by selective pressure on strains of yeast and at the same time maintaining the same flavour profile. Barbados is in a competitive world; other countries are trying to increase their competitive edge in the rum industry. As Dr. Frank Ward recently said, the future of sugar industry is rum not sugar.

Agriculture locally, is permeated by square pegs in round holes. There are the ridiculous cases of former policemen and account clerks with no specialized training in agriculture holding down a high post in government corporations and else where; who keep a lot of noise.

Sincerely

Robert D. Lucas, PH.D and CFS

Certified Food Scientist

30 comments

  • SirFuzzy (Former Sheep)

    (quote) Agriculture locally, is permeated by square pegs in round holes.(quote)

    The above seems to permeate the many ministries in Govt. and these “ill-fitted” persons are sponsored by both BLP/DLP administrations.

    The duopoly on Govt, . and the same basic thinking from both parties appears to be responsible for the sad state of Agriculture.

    Can Agriculture be saved ? The answers is Yes Yes and definitely Yes! Will agriculture be saved by placing another “ill-fitted” person to do the job. The answer is NO No and definitely No.

    It will take vision and leadership; but more importantly it will need a clearly sustained(multi-year) effort and a right of purpose crew( no square pegs or political poultry) below the leadership to persevere with the task at hand of righting agriculture and making it the best it can be.

    Just thinking.

    Like

  • The world has long past barbados (at brek neck speed)
    The world’s agriculture is on a fast track titled Health Foods most of the worlds consumers are savvy and read labels before buying
    Having an annual road show of products laid out on a tables might be good for local eye balls but our biggest problem lies in the fact that consumers awareness holds the prize and holds the keys as to if agriculture remains viable or not
    All the products that would have given barbados a competitive edge in world markets have been destroyed
    Eg. Dunks ..goosberries. mameapple sour soup even the bajan cherries
    Pomgrante
    People are living healthy lifestyles across the globle unfortunately barbados agriculture lost its wheels many years ago
    Very soon as people continue to get more aware of health risk involved in many products our most prized product Rum would cease to peform at its ultimate level in providing necessary financial support for the economy
    Thinking forward is where barbados have failed miserably

    Like

  • @sirFuzzy

    Both governments have been unable to kickstart agriculture. We know why, it is never given priority. If Agrofest is a success why has it not translated to higher agricultural output in the GDP numbers?

    Here is the conundrum, it is said per department the ministry of agriculture and ancillary units are littered with more post grads than any other. What is it telling us?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @David

    The chief agricultural officer has a PhD in agricultural science and was at one time acting assistant permanent secretary in the MoA.

    I remember a few years ago he had a run in with James Paul during a meeting. Lennox is a dedicated agriculturalist and people like Paul are only about talk.

    Do you realize Paul was silent on agriculture over the past 10 years?

    Both parties and Paul do not have any vision for the field.

    Like

  • The blogmaster had great expectations with Paul and Benn in government.

    Like

  • As far as I know the Ministry of Agriculture and its ancilliary units have some of the most highly credentialed people to be found anywhere. Many of them also love agriculture. Many wonderful plans are made. It is the lack of interest from the Government that hampers progress.

    Our governments have not been serious about agriculture for a long time. They invest little time and effort in promoting it. They say kissing white butt in the tourism industry is the way to improve our lot.

    Tourism is our business. Let’s play our white ass-kissing part!

    Cap in hand, let’s beg the white man.

    Like

  • @Donna

    And services.

    Like

  • ancillary

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @Robert Goren February 17, 2019 8:35 AM “The chief agricultural officer has a PhD in agricultural science and was at one time acting assistant permanent secretary in the MoA.”

    @Robert Lucas, Certified Food Scientist “Agriculture locally, is permeated by square pegs in round holes.”

    Are both of these statements true?

    Or are both politically motivated?

    Just a simple question from a simpleton, or as Piece would call us [black] sheeple.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirFuzzy (Former Sheep)

    @ David February 17, 2019 8:09 AM

    Maybe it is say or points to the “ill-fitted-ness” of the crew in the Ministry of Ag. I said earlier the “right-for purpose” crew.

    Just maybe the ship “Min of Ag” is manned by a crew that is highly qualified but not fit for the purpose at hand/moment.

    Joke. At a Dentist convention; a patron collapses and a by-stander seeing the man on the ground shouts out aloud. “Help this man need a doctor; is there a doctor in the house?. Many hands are raised…..etc….but no ones actually goes forward to assist…..

    Maybe just maybe The “Min of Ag” is a patron at a dentists’ convention that is ailing and asks is there a doctor in the house.

    Just asking.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirFuzzy (Former Sheep)

    @ david.

    i think i know the answer. it is the big gorilla in the room . the 64k question. Who wants to do MAINTENANCE?. AG requires lots of maintenance. Crop maintenance. Field Maintenance. Equipment Maintenance. Factory Maintenance. Market Maintenance. Maintaining Food security. etc

    A whole lot of maintenance is required. And we know the GOB does everything except MAINTENANCE?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Good security has never been taken seriously. The waning interest is in lockstep with a growing and lazy middle class addicted to non indigenous methods AND taste.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David,

    you are so correct. but what Bajans dont understand is that Bajans returning home on vacation or otherwise are looking for bajan fruits, food, vegetables etc.. the same probably goes for all visitors whilst bajans are eating nasty imported foods.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Green.mFebruary 17, 2019 9:52 AM

    David,

    you are so correct. but what Bajans dont understand is that Bajans returning home on vacation or otherwise are looking for bajan fruits, food, vegetables etc.. the same probably goes for all visitors whilst bajans are eating nasty imported foods.

    So correct and those living outside barbados

    I contend that barbados continues to shut it self out of the Health food global market a market that keeps growing with consumers more and more having an appetite for healthy living worldwide

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirFuzzy (Former Sheep)

    if Ag lands are kept in food production does that mean that housing and tourism development becomes more expensive? The law of supply and demand would dictate such.

    So is Ag expansion the nemesis of tourism and housing development? I have heard much talk about adopting Ag techniques that will require less land; with Ag going vertical etc. I don’t hear my talk about house developments going vertical thus requiring less land etc. Many land developments are single level housing projects.

    Should we be talking about and doing multi-level house developments in order to conserve the limited land we have?

    Just asking

    Like

  • @ David February 17, 2019 8:09 AM
    “Here is the conundrum, it is said per department the ministry of agriculture and ancillary units are littered with more post grads than any other. What is it telling us?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It is telling us, simply, that in the Barbados of today educated idiots would always ‘trump’ sophisticated Seventh Standard Commonsense of previous generations.

    Wasn’t Barbados previously known as the place of outstanding research in tropical agriculture especially in the field of sugar cane breeding and fruit diversification like the health-giving properties of the Bajan cherry and the genetically-designed grapefruit aka the “forbidden fruit”?

    It was once recorded in the government emoluments list that the same MoA was littered with more than 15 highly trained agricultural scientists sitting all day behind their desks next to the Graeme Hall swamp in which tilapia could have been ‘reared’ in their numbers instead of importing them from the Chinese water farms fed with ‘human bodily waste’ processed as fish food fit farms for export to the black third world.

    Is there a useful cyclical alternative to the current dumping of the shit in the same swamp as has been happening for the past 15 years?

    What we would like to hear from Dr. Lucas is whether there could be some synergistic benefits to be had from using, on a commercial basis, locally produced molasses combined with hemp as a potential feed stock in the rearing of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry; or even as a food supplement for the potential fish stocks that should have been booming in aquarium called the Oistins potentially profitable fish-farm project promised to the electorate since 2008.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @millertheanunnaki
    Molasses and hemp can be used as a rations for ruminants. As a matter of fact, the Cubans in the 1960’s were using molasses and area mixtures in cattle rations. I have on numerous occasions written about the utilization of coconut shells as rations for ruminants. Coconut shells are made basically of cellulose. In the stomachs of ruminants are microorganisms capable of breaking down cellulose into sugars ,which are then utilize by the animals. Hemp and coconut shells cannot be used as rations for poultry. poultry and other non-ruminants do not possess microorganisms carrying enzymes in the beta condition that are needed to break down the above mentioned products. what can be done in the latter case is the utilization of molasses to grow yeast using fermentation techniques. This is referred to as single cell proteins (SCP).SCP have on a dry weight basis up to forty percent protein which can be utilized for poultry rations. I have written about SCP as rations for poultry numerous times.

    @Robert Goren;
    Lennox started doing his PH.D but had disagreements with some members of UWI and withdrew from it. He is the most competent entomologist in the Island.

    In my article on the swamp, a blogger wanted to know why the sediments. soil particles are negatively charged and the protozoan cysts are adsorp unto the surface of the soil particles.

    Like

  • @SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife:
    I do not write with a political bias. I present scientific facts, which the readers are free to agree or disagree with. If I step on toes so be it. It is a truism that the black man is not ready for scientific objectivity and it is also the hall mark of petty thought when any statement is viewed as being political in outlook.

    Like

  • Barbados Underground Whistleblower

    @ Dr. Lucas

    Ignore the likes of SimpleSimon.

    She is a very petty individual who is also a serious liar.

    Like

  • DR LUCAS

    I USED TO PRESENT SCIENTIFIC ISSUES ON BU UNTIL “CHALLENGED” BY BU SCIENTIFIC ILLITERATES…..SO T STOPPED.

    IT IS POINTLESS TO CAST ONE’S PEARLS TO THE SWINE ON BU. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.

    THE BU DUNCES WILL RESPOND TO YOUR ARTICLES WHICH THEY DONT UNDERSTAND BY A SET OF MORONIC MOUTHINGS, WHICH IS CALLED “CHALLENGING”. HILARIOUS!

    ANYTHING THEY READ ONLINE BY WHAT ONE CALLED “THE CREME OF THE CREME” THEY WILL GRASP, NOT UNDERSTANDING THE CONTENT, OR THE INTENT, BECAUSE IN BARBADOS, IT IS LIKE WHAT THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF SAID, “A PROPHET IS WITHOUT HONOR EXCEPT IN HIS OWN COUNTRY.

    Like

  • Jefferson Cumberbatcth

    WHAT THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF SAID, “A PROPHET IS WITHOUT HONOR EXCEPT IN HIS OWN COUNTRY.

    Is NOT without honour…..

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @robert lucas February 17, 2019 2:51 PM “Molasses and hemp can be used as a rations for ruminants. As a matter of fact, the Cubans in the 1960’s were using molasses and area mixtures in cattle rations. I have on numerous occasions written about the utilization of coconut shells as rations for ruminants. Coconut shells are made basically of cellulose. In the stomachs of ruminants are microorganisms capable of breaking down cellulose into sugars ,which are then utilize by the animals.”

    Back in the day, my parents like all small farmers practiced mixed agriculture on 4 acres, some some inherited land, some purchased, some rented: sugarcane, yams, cassava, eddoes, pumpkins, corn, cucumbers, herbs, etc. cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys. The manure from the animals fertilized the sugarcane fields, the dried cane leaves/trash was fed to the cows goats and sheep in the dry season, once some molasses from the sugar cane was poured on the dried leaves, or on dry sour grass or guinea grass the ruminants feasted on it. Nothing was wasted. My father held down a full time job, and my mother and all of us children laboured to produce much of our own very good quality food. I don’t know if it worked but all of us have lived to past the age of 60, and most of us to past 65. One or two near 65, not quite there yet.

    Had some bonivist and other vegatebles and brown rice today with a couple of fried jacks. Nice, nice.

    No macaroni pie for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    The trouble with agricultural policy (both parties, or maybe I should say all parties) is that they look at agriculture as strictly an economic activity. Agriculture is not strictly an economic activity.
    Agriculture is more like child bearing and child rearing. Child bearing and child rearing are not strictly economic activities.

    We seem to feel that we can abandon agriculture because it is more economical to import 40 foot containers of food through Miami.

    It seems that we have done the same with child bearing and child rearing. So let us import 40 containers of ready to work adults through Miami also. It is very likely more economically viable to do so than to bear and rear our own.

    Agriculture may not be profitable, but it is valuable.

    Child bearing and child rearing may not be profitable, but it is valuable.

    Look at the richest men in the world, men like Gates, Bezos, the late Jobs, Branson etc. No farmer in the world is even a quarter as rich as these men. But yet each of these men is fed multiple times a day by farmers and fishers. After all none of us can eat our Iphones, or books, or aircraft or computers.

    Support Barbados’ farmers and fishers, because they help to keep our bellies full. And a full belly feels good. Even if it is the full belly of a lawyer or economist. I have nothing against American farmers and fishers nor the farmers and fishers of other countries because they all do valuable work. But support ours first.

    If I hadn’t raised children, some born to me, some not, I might have about $500,000 to $800,000 in the bank. Instead I have $115.37.

    Some might say I made a bad decision when I decided to do unprofitable child bearing and child raising.

    i do not share that view.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @SS
    a few weeks back you only had $2.97, so the bank account is rising nicely.

    Like

  • @ Mariposa:

    “So correct and those living outside barbados

    I contend that barbados continues to shut it self out of the Health food global market a market that keeps growing with consumers more and more having an appetite for healthy living worldwide”

    So true. When I go to the store, I hurt my eye balls looking for produce from Barbados. last week I bought sweet potatoes from Jamaica, ginger from Jamaica, thyme from Jamaica, Trelawny yellow yam from Jamaica, breadfruit from Jamaica and paw paws from Jamaica. The Jamaicans put their likkle sticky flags on each piece of produce, even the aloes. My green bananas were from Costa Rico and the sugar cane from Haiti. (Purple in colour, sweet and so soft, you dont need teeth to eat it.) The sour sops here are from Brazil and are huge. The sugar apples come from Spain or Brazil.

    I eat like I am still on the island. No macaroni and cheese for me but I do eat both brown and white basmati.

    Like

  • @Dame Bajans

    You could wash down that food with Maury made from Maury syrup produced in Barbados.
    Fun fact I ran out of my usual pepper sauce and purchased a bottle from a local WI store labeled
    “Barbados Hot Sauce” Imagine my surprise when I returned home and read the fine print on the label “Product of Trinidad & Tobago

    Now I come to the source to get my Barbados Hot Sauce

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @February 18, 2019 5:16 PM “@SS. a few weeks back you only had $2.97, so the bank account is rising nicely.”

    Indeed. i think that I should start selling my financial services. Lolll!!!

    It seems that i know how to quadruple money overnight.

    Had really nice soup today, and enough left for tomorrow.

    Like

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