Paul: Imports high this season
Despite Tropical Storm Tomas’ damage to crops in October, vegetables are still in good supply for Christmas, thanks to heavy importing by traders.
In a telephone interview yesterday, chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul, said bad weather affected many farmers’ planting programmes which resulted in a larger amount of vegetables being imported.
Among the items in good supply was pigeon peas which were selling at between eight and ten dollars a pint on City streets.
“The imports have been relatively high as people wanted to ensure they had an adequate supply [for Christmas] as some farmers were affected by Tomas,” Paul said.
He added that farmers were making a good effort to get back into production “as soon as possible”.
“This season was not as good as it could have been due to Tomas but I have not heard of any farmer having problems in not being able to sell their stock,” he said.
President of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN), Alister Alexander, said he expected yesterday and today to be their “big days”.
“From my point of view, BARVEN has done well, considering the present climate. At the end of the day, most of us have done well although different individuals will give different reports,” he said.
Last week, vendors were crying out about the lack of sales. Most of them said they expected to do better in the days leading up to Christmas as people were more interested in household items.
BARVEN vice president, Erskine Forde, was quoted last week as saying sales were slow overall but added sorrel, lettuce and beans were moving well. He too said he expected this week to be better.