Cabinet of Barbados
In the last six years Barbados has been consumed by an unprecedented type of polarising politics. It is a politics which has reordered national priorities. No longer are decisions made on the basis of what is important on the national front but more to do with what is politically expedient. Political pundits had warned that the 2-seat majority government which resulted from the last general election would have landed us here. A classic illustration is the government’s commitment to send home 3,000 public sector workers but because of political imperatives the national exigency has had to be sacrificed, the result; a bloated Cabinet.
Perhaps the best example of politics trumping commonsense and national interest is the 9-day topical issue - the Estwick Affair. One member of parliament holds the trump card (theoretically) which potentially affects the balance of government in Barbados. Whereas Arthur would have fired Estwick from Cabinet a long time ago – he had bench strength in the House – Prime Minister Stuart is forced to tolerate a minister who has made it known publicly he disagrees with Cabinet; a severe break from convention. BU referred to Estwick’s trump card as theoretical because he has developed the reputation as a bluffer.
If the country was focussed on the national priority we should be grilling Estwick about what the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has achieved under his stewardship since 2010. Insiders are aware it took several days of suasion to get him to accept the agriculture ministry.
Submitted by Ready done
We believe in Aquaponics, it is an idea that solves so many problems we are currently facing towards becoming a circular economy. Kristen Adams of Adams Aqualife recently won the Bank On Me competition, highlighting the massive available liquidity in the fish farming market. No doubt interest in fish farming is on the increase.
Submitted by Ready Done
’6,889 early adopters of Aquaponics systems needed’
I got home yesterday and heard the unmistakable voice of my first crush Jacqueline Yvonne ‘Jackée’ Harry, there she was standing on that same step in a tight blue dress as curvy as l remember her. My daughter was watching the show 227, she likes the 80s era, as she puts it “ancient times”. This is the meaning of the information age. The generation X crew have a difficult time understanding how differently we accessed information. When I was her age 227 was after my bed time hour, My only opportunity to watch Jackée was on my visit to the bathroom, and I would walk as slowly as possible the ten foot distance to ogle Jackée.
I also ran home from school to watch Sesame Street. I had to fight sleep to watch X Files and Allo Allo. This generation knows nothing about waiting for information, the feeling of not having a conversation about last night’s TV show because you missed it is foreign to them . They get the news as it happens in detail, we only heard about bad car accident and saw a pic from a distance in the newspaper the next day. Our children get video of the accidents sometimes 5 minutes after it happens.
Submitted by Green Monkey
One approach to providing healthy food alternatives to his neighbours, many or most of whom are accustomed to eating large amounts of disease inducing fast foods as a regular part of their daily food intake, comes from a guerrilla gardener and activist in South Central LA by the name of Ron Finley.
“South Central LA, home of the drive-thru, and the drive-by,” Finley says. “Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killin’ more people than the drive-bys. People are dying from curable diseases in South Central LA.” – Ron Finley
Submitted by Ready done
Popular herbicide Roundup is a watered down version of agent orange
Some people eat apples as portrayed in the mass media from the side to the core, some eat from the bottom or top end because that way you eat the whole apple leaving only the seeds and stem, some people scrape the wax off of the apple before eating it. Most people don’t even know that some apples are dipped in wax to preserve it for years, some people read the bar code to see if it is an organic apple, some people peel the apple because they know the skin is the part that gets the most chemical spray, I personally don’t eat the red apple because it is imported, I prefer a mammy apple, golden apple or sugar apple. However way too much people have no idea what they are putting into their body. We tend to think that because it is sold in a supermarket it is good for us, we are inclined to forget that the supermarket is a business (to make a profit) it has nothing to do with our health.
There is an interesting link between chemicals used in war and chemicals used in food production which is not well known – we war with each other and we war with Mother nature. Chemicals used in agriculture are actually watered down versions of the chemicals used in war. Fertilizer use exploded onto the scene after the first world war because the war machinery that was used to create chemicals for bombs had to find an alternative use, it was easy to convert to be used in agriculture. The ammonium used in explosives is actually the same ammonium used in fertilizer, you should recall the Oklahoma City bombing.
Submitted by Ready Done
Finding a balance in life is one of the best feelings one can have, bills paid, meat in the fridge, veggies in the Aquaponic system. At this point in life, the air smells better and the grass is greener, no stress, life as mother nature intended it.
To maintain that state of balance is the hard part, the postman never forgets where you live and there are always next month’s bills. For an average person the cycle of work/pay is life as we come to know and love. We all understand how cashing in big now has repercussions for a long time after. Sometimes we grossly underestimate the length of the repercussions. We work as a society to spread out our responsibility and workload. The promise is that the average person can maintain a decent living with an honest day’s work; with that in mind the benefits of society far out way the required work, the mass production of high quality goods, like, toilet paper, Range rovers, North face bags and Galaxy s3’s make life sweet, we would not want to live without them. Our love affair with technology began when the first farmer left the first garden with the first tool.
A staff witch incidentally was the first piece of technology, given to us, ever since we have been improving upon technology to do what we always did, what we are programmed to do, garden, the current path of industrialized agriculture, genetically modified organisms and chemical fertilizers has worked well for us allowing one farmer to grow food for hundreds even thousands allowing us to have our full time jobs, and continue the cycle of society.
It is a perennial crop hence it can be harvested as required
Currently a significant number of persons are moving away from gluten (e.g. wheat) flours. As a consequence they are looking for alternative flours. Some of the main alternatives are cassava, arrowroot, corn, rice, breadfruit, etc. In our neck of the woods, we possess the expertise and soil for the growth of cassava, arrowroot and breadfruit flours. Cassava is most likely going to require the least amount of time and effort in order to become an economically viable crop.
Below Is A Synopsis To Getting A Cassava Industry Up And Running Here In Barbados.
Positive Attributes of Cassava:
1. Cassava is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in tropical climates
2. It is a perennial crop hence it can be harvested as required
3. Cassava gives one of the highest yields of carbohydrates/ starch per cultivated area
4. Cassava is one of the most drought-tolerant crops
5. It grows well in most soils
6. Is not liked by the monkeys (Good news for Barbados)
7. Excellent source of gluten-free carbohydrates
8. With ideal growing conditions can yield on average 12.5 tonnes per hectare (NB: In India with a the yield of 34.8 tonnes per hectare – 2010)
9. Per unit weight, it commands a relatively good price on the International markets
10. Extremely digestible
Photo: UK Guardian
At 32min.35sec of the Dr. David Estwick presentation of the Democratic Labour party (DLP) 2013 Manifesto Launch he laid out government’s strategic plan for restructuring the sugar cane industry for generating valueaddeds by accepting financing from the Japanese. That is diversification: using sugar cane to generate power (25,000 megawatts) by reducing the fuel bill by 150 million dollars among other recommendations. The cane industry restructuring project (CIRP) is estimated to cost 230 million dollars.
This project which Dr. Estwick unfolded during the political campaign in February 2013 has taken on critical importance given the planned expiry of European Union sugar quotas in 2015. The resultant action is that it “would lead to a reduction in the price in the European market. This in turn would make the EU market less attractive to the ACP and other higher cost exporters.” The bottomline is that countries in the Caribbean (including Barbados) would lose its preferential status in the EU market.
If the APD debate is any thing to go by it is unlikely Barbados and other Caribbean islands will be able to influence the 2015 deadline. Our only hope is if the quotas are removed by the EU it will create a problem for sugar cane refiners in the EU as well. Barbados will be banking on the European Commission extending to deadline to 2017-20 given this consideration.
Submitted by Readydone
Expecting Barbados food sources to transform from export to domestic is a very mighty task. This is compounded by the fact that we get up to five times our population in tourists annually. The result: the demand for food fluctuates too quickly for farmers to accurately judge what the market will be like when the crops are ready to harvest up to four months away. Our previous agriculture model of exporting sugar had numerous advantages for our small island. The fact the sugar takes a long time to expire and has excellent shipping and handling properties means that the farmer was almost guaranteed that his crop would be sold.
If agriculture is to survive given our small population, and benefit a greater number of people, not just the few that can afford the protection of the large greenhouses required if you want to grow vegetables for profit. We either have to find a more suitable export crop or promote the kitchen garden again. Baird Village Aquaponics has done some interesting research into finding an export crop. We researched rice, tobacco, grapes and soybean – all good – but Quinoa as a food crop for Barbados is showing the most real life potential, international research suggests the plant does not do well at low elevations, but Barbados has a very interesting environment that I personally believe can grow any crop.