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Does Govt care about agriculture?

shadiasimpson, shadiasimpson@nationnews.com

Added 20 February 2013

I recently read an article written by AGRODOC. What a tremendously insightful mail. The Doc is 100 per cent correct that agricultural decisions are being taken by people who do not understand agriculture. The comment concerning the start of the sugar cane harvest was a great example. The question that I got from the article is “does anybody in Government really care what happens in agriculture”? If I have to answer my own question, I could only say that the answer is no, because their actions speak for themselves. I will give one example. The sugar industry had a consulting firm by the name of Landell Mills do a thorough review of the industry. I personally have not read the reports but did attend two of the public forums. The consultants severely criticized the existing plant nutrition programme and I am presuming made their own recommendations. I also severely criticized the existing programme. It has not been changed for over 40 years. In the meantime, sugar cane production has fallen to its lowest level in history. A new fertilizer tender was scheduled to be held by Barbados Agriculture Management Corporation (BAMC) on February 15. BAMC is a Government company. Guess what? The formulas that BAMC are requesting and the quantities are the same as they’ve been using for over 40 years. I asked the question earlier in this mail. “Does anybody in Government care about agriculture”? The actions answer the question – an emphatic no!   – DAVID CHRISTOPHERSONManaging Director Eastern Caribbean Fertilizer Company (BARBADOS) Limited (ECFCO)

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