OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Get serious about agriculture
Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your heart with food and gladness. – Acts: 14 verse 17
IT WAS VERY good news coming from Patrick Bethell, manager of the Friendship Plantation and chairman of the Barbados Sugar Industries Limited that the 2017 sugar crop was likely to yield some twelve thousand tons of sugar, which would be five thousand tons more than the 2016 crop. Indeed, it would be good news if it becomes a reality.
To reach the projected target, the crop must start early, no later than the second week in February this year.
In the past, the sugar crop has been starting too late. In 2016, the crop started in April and in 2014 it started in March, which was too late. At the time of writing no date has been announced for the start of the 2017 sugar crop – what a pity?
A late start does affect the yield of the following year. Fields should be prepared in a timely manner. By May the fields should be well prepared and ready for planting; otherwise the young canes will be fighting with grass – and usually the grass takes over.
In order to increase sugar production in Barbados, the farmers must be given the necessary tools, such as fertilisers (spray) weed killers, very early, because these are very important to the industry these days. We must remember that the industry is mechanised these days that is why the tools must be given early.
If the tools are given too late then the tractors cannot go into the fields, for then the tractors will be fighting with the canes and the grass and will destroy them.
I believe that there are too many who are involved in the sugar industry and who are not prepared to listen to people like Patrick Bethell, Eustace Craigg from the Easy Hall group of plantations and his brother Ernest Craigg from Carrington Estates. They are people with hands on experience.
I am sure that Barbados can produce more than 12 000 tons of sugar, but the question that must be asked: are we really serious about agriculture? If we were, then our food import bill would not be so high.
The Moravian Church in Barbados invites the public to the ordination service for Bro. Delroy Burley (pastor of Bethlehem Moravian) on Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Sharon Moravian Church, Jackson, St Thomas. The Rt Rev. Dr Kingsley Lewis will be the presiding bishop.
Centenary Moravian Church, Shop Hill, St Thomas, invites the public to their Annual Harvest Festival on Sunday, January 29 at 3:30 p.m. The pastor is the Rev. Vera Waithe.
An Epiphany Carol Service
An Epiphany Carol Service will be held by the Saint Michael’s Cathedral Choir with John Bryan (organist and choirmaster) on Sunday at 6 p.m. at the St Michael’s Cathedral, St Michael’s Row, Bridgetown. No admission charge – an offering will be taken.
A Festival Of Hymns And Songs with commentary To God Be The Glory will be given by the White Park Wesleyan Holiness Church on Sunday, January 29, at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited.
The All Saints Anglican Church in St Peter needs an organist. Applications in writing should be sent to the rector Rev. Selven Lowe, c/o All Saints Anglican Church, Pleasant Hall, St Peter. Applications will close on Monday, January 30.
Annual Diocesan service
The annual diocesan service has been rescheduled from Sunday, February 12 to Sunday, February 19, and it will be at Kensington Oval.
The All Saints Church Army will be holding a month-long revival every Tuesday night during the month of January. It will be held at the Training Centre opposite the TriMart Supermarket, Mile-And-A-Quarter, St Peter.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, January 14, 2017, for the late Gordon Thompson at the St Thomas Church, Finsbury, London, England, where he served as church warden for over 20 years. He returned to Barbados in 1993 and served on the church council at St Philip-The-Less Anglican Church, Boscobel, St Peter, and was buried there on November 4 last year.