673 thoughts on “Carmeta’s Corner

  1. Guyana to ramp up food production

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Advancement in the agriculture sector is imminent, as much emphasis is being placed on reducing Guyana’s and the Caribbean’s foodimport bill by 25 per cent by 2025 through the increased production of high-valued crops to meet its market demands, among other things.
    In a recent interview, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, said Guyana spent, $2.6 billon in the last year on the importation of highvalued crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
    It is for this reason that the government intends to continue the diversification of the agriculture sector next year.
    Minister Mustapha said that while agriculture is one of the main sectors that will help to diversify the country’s economy, much more work has to be done.
    He related that the goal is to first become self-sufficient.
    “Two weeks ago I signed a contract with an Israeli company for shade houses and hydroponics… I think what is happening in the country and with the investment coming on stream, we can become selfsufficient,”
    Mustapha said.
    Earlier this year, President Dr. Irfaan Ali, had launched the Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme, a project aimed at tapping into the benefits of the production of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Fifty-four shade houses were developed under the project.
    Mustapha said that the recent agreement between the Israeli company will see the President’s programme being expanded even further.
    The US$15.7 million project will include the construction of a hydroponic growing system and will be integrated into the ongoing shade house project along the East Coast of Demerara.
    “In the hospitality industry and the oil and gas industry these products are in high demand.
    “We can be self-sufficient in those areas and that is where we are looking to reduce the food-import bill,” Minister Mustapha said.
    He said too that Guyana will also increase its production of corn, soya bean and wheat.
    “At the end of 2023, we might see close to 5,000 acres of corn cultivation, because we are hoping, in the next three years, we can take that up to 25,000,” Mustapha said.
    Early this year, works on three, 3000-tonne silos and one 80-tonne-per-hour drying tower at Tacama Landing, along the Berbice River, had begun, so as to increase the production of corn and soya bean in that area.
    Further, in the first quarter of the new year, construction of the foundation and installation of a corn and soya bean processing plant will commence at the Tacama Landing.
    That processing plant will provide a drying and storage facility for the corn and soya farmers in the Tacama area.
    In 2021, six local companies and a regional firm joined together to undertake a massive project that could see Guyana becoming self-sufficient in corn and soya bean over the next few years.
    The owners of Guyana Stockfeeds Incorporated, Royal Chicken, Edun Farms, SBM wood, Dubulay Ranch, and Bounty farm ltd., along with the Brazilian-owned, N F agriculture, have partnered to produce soya bean and corn for both the local and regional markets.
    (Guyana Chronicle)

  2. It was packed with entertainment, creating a sweet vibe. There was no shortage of liquor for drink lovers. The menu prepared by one of the island’s culinary best, Chef Creig Greenidge, included roasted salmon and cream cheese with assorted crackers; fish cakes with tartar sauce; curry chicken salad cups; tea; coffee; breakfast oats; cheese and herb scrambled eggs; rosemary sea-salt breakfast potatoes; grilled chicken sausage; Bajan seasoned chicken and waffles; honey balsamic glazed ham carvery; and white wine infused with chicken.

  3. @Hants
    You ‘living large and in charge’
    Living the dream.
    Did you sign up for the $2500/person event… If you got it, flaunt it

    Poor me.. some biscuits and cheeses, some apple cider, music on the radio and will wait for you to post your links of the party.

    Happy New Years to you and yours.

  4. Gardening season is around the corner. Ordered some new non GMO seeds from two seed houses. I have been re-using the same seeds for years and the yields were not good last year. I will be trying perilla this year and Valencia peanuts. I also got some shanghai bok choi, which my son prefers to the regular big choi. This year I will plant my yard long beans at home so they won’t temp other peoples hands to pick them. I also got new butternut squash seeds, heritage, which grows only to eight inches long. I got some clemson spineless okras which I will plant with my Indian lady fingers.

  5. This thread used to be a lot more popular with the Bu ladies but is more difficult to find with the navigation of the new Bu format
    it needs a special tab

  6. Hants, five flying fish weighing three ounces are selling for $18 Canadian in Ottawa. I leave them right where they are. I buy fresh king fish at $9.99 and frozen dolphin from Peru at $11.99 per pound.

  7. @ Dame Bajans,

    no flying fish available so I have been buying frozen Mahi mahi and Salmon from Costco.
    I have been a pescatarian or a few years.

  8. Made some money selling sweet potato slips and spinach seeds. lol. Slips are $5, and twenty seeds are $2.

  9. Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) said on Saturday that wet conditions are expected across Barbados over the next few days from Sunday, April 23 to Thursday, April 27, associated with a surface to low-level trough system.

    A statement said current model predictions suggest that most of the shower activity will occur on Monday with some isolated peaks on Sunday. However, cloudy skies and some showers are likely to persist across the island into Thursday. Rainfall accumulations of one to three inches over the next five days are expected.

  10. ” Saying she was anticipating the calorie counter being made available to the public, the Prime Minister said: “How many calories in cou-cou and red herring? . . . . How many calories in a roti? . . . How many calories in oil down? How many calories in pudding and souse? How many calories in souse with one trotter or how many calories in trotter with nuff features?”


    • ‘IT’S UNFAIR’
      Paul: Unreasonable to ask farmers to keep prices down
      There is too much talk about lowering prices and not enough support for agricultural subsidies in Barbados, charged Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) chief executive officer James Paul.
      Speaking to the media yesterday following a poultry seminar hosted by the BAS and Pinnacle Feeds in the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Paul stressed that prices were influenced from beyond the island’s shores.
      “I think it’s a bit too much to expect for us to have discussions about keeping prices down in an environment around the world where prices are going up. In the United Kingdom, eggs are twice the price they are in Barbados . . . there are challenges around the world.
      “How hypocritical are we to expect on one hand for prices to drop when on the other, prices are rising worldwide. We need to get past that. We should not prevent producers in Barbados from charging a reasonable price for their labour and efforts because when we do that, we are making the production of commodities in Barbados less profitable,” he said.
      Regarding subsidies in the agricultural sector, Paul said while this seemed to be a major problem for the sector, it was not an issue as it related to tourism.
      “Every country in the world subsidises its agricultural sector and I make no apologies for asking Government to provide the same here. We spend more than $50 million on the tourism industry and Barbadians make no qualms about it. Rich people come into Barbados, build hotels, and receive huge benefits and we as a people make no bones about it, yet we have difficulty when we are engaging in practices that would help a poor farmer who is trying to feed his family. We make qualms over $2 million when $50 million is going the other way,” he said.
      Paul said the lack of a subsidy was hurting the local market as foreign agencies had a competitive advantage.
      “How can we compete in price against large industries that receive huge subsidies from their governments? What you are seeing here at seminars such as this, some countries subsidise it in their countries but here in Barbados, the BAS and Pinnacle Feeds are taking money out of their pockets, from profits they should make, to do this.
      “It is unfair when we have these local economists that talk about free trade and breaking down the trade barriers to allow foreign products in. What they don’t understand is they are asking local producers to compete with a farmer who has huge advantages,” he said.
      The BAS chief also spoke about the need to bring together all the stakeholders in order to tackle the issues affecting agriculture.
      “Very often, when an issue happens, the easiest thing is to point fingers in order to say ‘it is not my fault’ and sometimes we also have politics where people like to create victims to say ‘you were taken advantage of’. In truth and in fact, the sector has to stand up and take responsibility for its future.
      “This seminar, which we fought for to be introduced, makes the farmer aware they have to take responsibility in many ways for the success of their individual operations and at the same time the feed company has to recognise we have to do things differently and if there is one thing this seminar will do, is start the process to try and ensure that we do things differently in the industry,” he said. (CA)

      Source: Nation

  11. So wait, I thought most homes had to have a water tank. Is this water not used for gardening, washing cars, etc? They are getting lots of rain this week. The tanks should be full.

    • @Dame Bajans

      The majority of the tanks are integrated into the potable architecture, only a few have separate tanks for waste/garden.

  12. Planted up early May, yams, sweet potatoes, cassava, pumpkin, peppers, Everything except the peppers has germinated and growing nicely. Glad to hear that we may be getting some rain in a day or two.

  13. If this is the original Cuhdear Bajan, it is good to see you here again. You contributions were sorely missed.

    Hope all is well… Stay strong, stay beautiful

  14. “The centre of Bret and its strongest winds are expected to pass approximately 62MI (100KM) to the north of Barbados, therefore given the close proximity to the north of the island, a tropical storm watch is in effect, the forecasters said.

  15. Hello Cuhdear, glad to see you back. Was worried in case you had gone to the great beyond, but David would have informed us.

    I have had two pickings of callaloo and my bokchoi is ready. I planted peanuts this year..valencia. They are supposed to ripen in 90 days. I will wait and see. I planted about two dozen but only 12 are up so far. I may have placed some too deep. My cabbages are already heading and the sweet potatoes and pumpkins beginning to run.

    Thinned out my double bearded irises and listed some for sale….lots of clicks buy no offers.

    We are getting periods of hot, hot days and then lots of rain. I swear the callaloo grew by ten inches yesterday. I have more rhubard than I can shake a stick at. Big, fat stalks.

  16. Dame Bajans I am glad to hear that your garden is flourishing.

    I am still in this world and happy to be here. After dodging Covid for 3 years it finally caught me on All Fools Day. But it was pretty mild and by Easter Day I had fully recovered,

  17. Lots of rain beginning mid-morning and continuing even now. It may turn out to be more rain than that produced by Bret,

  18. Sorry to hear covid got to you. I hope you broke its knees eddoe and shark soup.

    Just cut my second last pumpkin from last year. Looks very good inside. Not dried out. Will plant more of these going forward. checked the freezer, have lots of bajan spinach left and romano beans. Have to consume these to make room for this years crops.

    Is there anything you can do with under ripe pears, perhaps grill them?

  19. Cuhdear, tell me I am wrong, but there seems to be quite a few suicides by hanging in Barbados lately.

  20. My cabbages are ready, my sweet peas are ready and I have more callaloo than I can shake a stick at. I have blanched and vacuum sealed so much, I had to store some in my Chinese friend’s freezer. I have more red and black currants than I have ever had. People want, but do not want to go pick. It will be a cold day in hell when this 76 year old lady picks berries for the young folks.

    I brought in 80 garlics and they are now in the garage curing.

    So far, my harvests have been very good. I plant to try growing oyster mushroom next.

  21. I don’t have any information about suicides, But I expect that like elsewhere the social isolation, economic hardships, and sickness, sadness and deaths wrought by Covid pushed some people, especially those with underlying mental issues over the edge.

  22. The peppers both hot and flavor are ready. The sweet potatoes and pears are almost ready. The pumpkins are filling out nicely.
    Breadfruits are plentiful and delicious as usual right now.
    I was on Green Hill today and a big bright sign on a bus shelter stated “We buy breadfruit. $3 per fruit. Call [and the phone number was given]. I expect that somebody buying for the export market. As I continued my journey every breadfruit tree is full of ripe fruit. A neighbor gave me 2 today, and I gave one to a friend.
    So breadfruit on the menu today Sunday.

  23. Woman, I would do anything for a breadfruit now. Each store I visit, they too young or so ripe they soft. My two trees in Bim I am sure being harvested and fruit sold by the “owners”.
    My garden is really producing. I counted 25 pumpkins, I have been giving away tomatoes and callaloo. I picked and shelled some cranberry beans and may pick the rest on Monday. Cabbages done, sweet peas done. Yard long beans still producing. Irish potatoes drying up. So far I have harvested only one egg plant. Not hot enough sun and too much rain. Sweet potatoes have nothing below – same problem, and now its cold at night. At least I can eat the leaves.
    Had a bumper crop of red and black currants. Chopped down 3 black currant bushes. Too many berries and you can only drink so much Ribena. I am keeping one in the allotment with the one at home. Sold some irises and hope to sell more next spring with some callaloo seeds and potato slips.
    Made more than enough to pay the lot fees, buy chicken manure and order some new seeds this year.
    I harvested 90 heads of garlic and they were huge. Set aside 15 of the largest to plant in October. I also gave away 8 asparagus crowns. My onions did not do well. They developed a fungus and dried up early so they were small.
    I planted bokchoi and tatsoi (rose spinach) for fall and they are coming along.

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