Estwick’s No. 1 job is BADMC
ONE OF THE FIRST things new Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick will be doing is investigating complaints against Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC).
Speaking to the DAILY NATION yesterday during a garden exhibit at the Ministry of Agriculture, Graeme Hall, Christ Church, in celebration of World Food Day, he noted: “One of the things I have to do is have a meeting with the BADMC to get an understanding of the challenges being faced by farmers in the Land for the Landless programme.
“I have heard a few of [the challenges] from farmers, but I know there is more than one side to any story, so I need to meet with the board of management of the BADMC to find solutions in order to work more effectively as well as to get more farmers involved in the programme,” he said.
Estwick also pointed to Barbados’ high food import bill, saying the country had limited control over this since it was a “net food importer”.
Estwick said he would also be “pushing hard” to get hotels to use more local produce via legislative change.
“I will be speaking to those producing the Tourism Development Act so that, just as how they are seeking to grant hoteliers more concessions according to how much domestically manufactured products they purchased, I want the same thing for agriculture,” he said. (CA)