Barbados’ soil has decreased in fertility and there is more bush covering the land than some 60 years ago.
According to agricultural consultant Keith Laurie, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) revealed in a meeting with the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) some time ago that Barbados now had 30 per cent more bush and trees than back in 1950 when the Cultivation of Trees Act was passed.
Laurie, noting he was invited to the FAO-CANARI meeting which looked at forestation in the region, said Barbados was one of the few islands in which forests had increased. He also said one CANARI representative was amazed at the amount of overgrowth in former local plantation areas near St John’s Church and Hackleton’s Cliff.
“So yes, there is a huge amount of land that has gone out of agriculture; lands were in dairy, some in other livestock, and sugar cane, but slowly and surely we have allowed the imported food, for which we pay $700 million yearly, to come in and replace the local products. It’s madness,” he said.