Import it First Attitude!

It is often bandied about the ministry of agriculture (MOA) has more employees with PhDs than most places. However, if you try to plot a correlation between national agriculture output and number of post grad certifications in the MOA, there is a negligible positive. 

The late prime minister Owen Arthur warned Barbadians of storm clouds on the horizon and that Bajans should take interest in backyard farming, he was ridiculed- the matter was consumed by the usual political diatribe. The same occurred when the late David Thompson promoted a slogan of ‘crime and violence. It is ironic looking back that two prime ministers of Barbados were unable – although lead policymakers – were unable to change irrelevant behaviour in our people.

Despite three years into the term of the incumbent government and two years into a pandemic – have we seen enough activity in the agriculture sector given the urgency of now? The answer is NO!

Many times we visit restaurants and ask the question, do you have sweet potato to replace english potato, do you have natural juices to replace artificially flavoured etc, too many times the answer is NO!

What is the purpose of the social partnership if during a period of economic hardship stakeholders are unable to see the benefit of vertical integration approaches in the domestic marketplace?

The following video was shared by Bentley, long time BU contributor.

#foodfirst
#carmeta

22 comments

  • David
    What both former prime ministers neglected to tell us is that US foreign policy, and that means an international structure where there is a built-in determination that countries throughout this hemisphere must import food and edible substances from America.

    It is not an accident of nature or happenstance that countries like, for example, Guyana, Belize and many others which hold vast areas of rich arable lands are not significantly different to Babados, as far as the importation of food is concerned and its economic and other manifestations.

    The faux development model has been long entrenched that “beautiful” supermarkets are the only gold standard for food.

    Any countries, like Nicaragua or even Cuba, trying to buck this imperical mandate that American farmers are to have no competition will have all kinds of hybrid warfare declared on them. They will find it impossible to receive funding from the World Bank and the IMF as facilitators of cyclical deficit financial flows.

    No amount of small time gardening could be the antidote to these structures outside of the personal and principled efforts of some industrial people, hobbyists.

    And both prime ministers you mentioned would have been well aware of these realities but nonetheless insisted on engaging in false economic constructs.

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  • @Pacha

    This is what globalization with the institution of WTO has given us.

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  • Your perspective says the issue of developing initiatives relevant to the region is removed from local policymakers?

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  • David
    Removed? They were never so located.

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  • You are suggesting we have no opportunity to craft our fate Pacha?

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  • David
    This writer gets to see this throughout this region, Africa, Central and South America.

    Think about it and tell us whether you are still persuaded that the same structure reappearing over and over again could be based on notions of moral agency.

    Our economists, like William Demas, Lloyd Best, Eric Williams and more knew this, wrote about it, decades ago. It’s nothing new we’re saying.

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  • You are saying then as a people it does not matter what we try to do to improve ourselves, we are Fcuked?

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  • David
    Yes. Unless you first confront the structures inherited, established.

    And neither a false independence nor republicanism agenda makes contact with those structures.

    Correction. Imperial not empirical.

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  • “And neither a false independence nor republicanism agenda makes contact with those structures.”

    worth repeating…

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  • Bushie continues to be impressed …awed even.. by the perceptiveness of Pacha.
    Are you a real person P?
    If so, how did you manage to evade that initial ‘vaccine’ that resulted in the blindness of the many – who will not see..?
    more to the point…
    Let us see if you can escape the coming coup de grace ….

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  • @Pacha

    If your view of the matter is correct ,we have a no win situation because those in charge are vested in the established structures.

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  • The Republic will be the foundation for the new structure replacing 400 years of Babylon Kingdom

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  • The spectre of food hoarding and shortages in China should be of major cause for concern in Barbados.

    What does the Chinese government know of which the Bajan MoA and his cadre of high-flying PhDs are blissfully unaware?

    For a long time now our Canada-based Brother Hants has been begging the Bajan authorities to take greater care of the local agricultural sector since the day is coming when it would represent the difference between survival and starvation as the sources of imported processed foods dry up.

    Is that day about to knock on the Bajan door ushering in ‘lean’ times and starvation instead of salvation?

    What sayest thou, Doc. Rev. Georgie ‘Jeremiah’ Porgie, the ‘ruptured’ prophet of the Rapture?

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  • The comments on this thread are all from people who have never grown a bunch of seasoning in their lives.

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  • I am not big on imported processed food bought from “beautiful” supermarkets. In the last 12 days I have eaten breadfruit as my main carbohydrate 10 days out of 12. I love breadfruit and I don’t believe that it upsets a farmer in Texas or Idaho if I love breadfruit. I love breadfruit so much that I joke and say that I would _ill a man if he dared to take my breadfruit. Lol!!! I have enough cooked breadfruit in the fridge to serve me until Saturday. I will cook another week’s supply of complex carbohydrate on Sunday. Maybe it will be breadfruit again, although I do have a choice of home grown cassava, sweet potatoes and yam too. And did I tell you that the avocado pears are super yummy. I’ve been eating a half or a whole one every day for the past 26 days, and I plan to continue doing so until Christmas or New Year’s Day. Life sweet, at least for now. And no shipping container required.

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  • I salute Audrey S. Darko and the farmers in the Ghana countryside.

    But I was surprised that by by-products of sugar cane was referred to as “waste”. In my days growing up in the country there was no waste from sugar cane production. The dark stuff being used used as fertilizer in Ghana now we called it “mud” It is warm and damp and sweet smelling. Every Good Friday when all hands were at home we applied it to our recently harvested fields, then it was ploughed into the field and by the first day of May even if it was very dry outside the field would be planted with yams, because yams are drought tolerant and the new plantings will survive in the field for 2 or 3 weeks even with zero rainfall. We harvested monster sized yams on New Year’s Day and the yam fed us until August. From January to August We almost never ate imported rice, flour or cornmeal. The dried sugarcane leaves from the recently harvested fields was heaped up into large “trash heaps” and pulled out periodically and used as mulch on the fields as the months went on. Some of the “trash” was also mixed with molasses and fed to ruminants, cows, sheep, goats. Then we drank the milk from the ruminants, made our own butter, and as needed ate some of the them along with the yam. In a period of drought when there is very little green stuff to feed the ruminants, they will feast happily on cane trash mixed with molasses. We children also ate the molasses. I have some molasses in my refrigerator right now.

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  • What has become of Islandgal who used to frequent these pages? Her blog seems to have gone dormant

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  • “Is that day about to knock on the Bajan door ushering in ‘lean’ times and starvation instead of salvation?”

    @Miller,
    It is intentional. We are talking about genocide by neglect. The indifference shown towards the local population by their government should not surprise any one.

    You should remember that blacks in Barbados have always been surplus to requirements.

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  • Submitted by Bentley.

    Here’s another video on permaculture, a system that can be employed anywhere on any size plot of land to produce organic food that is nutritious in a way that is sustainable.

    If anyone wants a copy of the book on permaculture by the person who is credited with developing the system, Bill Mollison, they can contact me.

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  • Feeding our population will soon be impossible

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
    – Martin Luther King
    “Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is poverty. Ignorance is devastation. Ignorance is tragedy and ignorance is illness. It all stems from ignorance.”
    – John Rohn
    “Nothing in all of the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
    – Martin Luther King
    ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE indicates that since creation, big bang or otherwise, there have been five “ice ages”, the last being 11 800 years ago, with lots of glacial periods in between.
    In other words, our planet’s environment has cycled unassisted between warm and cold with lots of global warming and climate change in between. So what is new?
    This time around, our planet has almost eight billion people inhabiting it that were not here before and the population graph continues to grow on a straight line despite all of the prophecies to the contrary.
    Fossil fuels
    We the people have desecrated our pristine planet with “stinkeroos” scattered around like pimples on a golf ball, millions of tonnes of plastics in our oceans, four million tonnes of faeces flushed down our toilets daily (out of sight, out of mind) and ten million tonnes of “manure” produced daily by the animals being grown to feed us. So we focus instead on fossil fuels – a diversion! Can our planet heal itself this time around? Not likely.
    There is an even bigger question hanging over our heads. How long can we continue to feed a growing population (ten billion by 2050) with little unused or underused cultivable land left to exploit? It is now taking an average of 0.22 hectares (or half an acre) of intensively
    cultivated crops to feed each person on our planet.
    Cultivable land
    Barbados has less than 0.06 hectares of cultivable land per person and can no longer feed itself. The United Nations says that one per cent of the world’s population is already experiencing hunger and that the “crunch” is coming when the world will not be able to feed itself.
    The average individual does not seem to be able to conceive the massive amounts of food currently being consumed on an annual basis: sugar, 185 million tonnes; wheat, 780 million tonnes; rice, 510 million tonnes; and potatoes, 380 million tonnes, just to mention a few, all of which must be increased by 25 per cent by 2050.
    Yet none of the reports emanating from the recently concluded COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, even has the slightest reference to the underlying cause of our environmental problems – the planet’s growing population which already surpasses the likely maximum sustainable amount.
    All of our leaders still seem to be continuing to support “growth” which is nothing short of madness!
    Round and round we go . . . .

    PETER WEBSTER

    Source: Nation

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