Estwick: Focus more on business
Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick believes local farmers must seek to adopt a more businesslike approach if the sector is to move forward.
In an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, he said the agricultural sector could make an even more valuable contribution to the Barbados economy.
However, he stressed that it could not be business as usual and farmers would have to adapt to both local and global changes.
“Agriculturalists and farmers must move to become businessmen,” he said. “They must understand the precepts of business, that is, how to manage and create business plans, how to get financing and how to manage from production to final distribution, whether it happens to be a primary product or a secondary or tertiary one.”
In outlining his vision for the sector, Estwick emphasised that agriculture must move beyond mere food production and embrace avenues such as agro-processing, which involves turning primary agricultural products or crops into secondary or tertiary goods for sale.
The minister underscored that there must also be a change in the educational opportunities offered for farmers and people interested in working in the sector.
“We must now look at them as not just farmers but as businessmen who have made a conscious decision to engage in [this type of activity] and therefore we must create the necessary training that goes along with this,” he said.