I am baffled by the national approach or lack thereof when it comes to a struggling agriculture sector and the high incidence of youth unemployment in Barbados. In fact, it was almost seven years ago when the then Barbados Minister of Agriculture, Haynesley Benn, speaking at the Launch of the Youth in Agriculture Programme, ‘Developing […]
Submitted by Damian Hinkson With a decade of experience in Aquaponic(AP) farming I am very happy to see AP systems now being created all over the island. The benefit of producing vegetables using fish manure rather than land animal’s or chemical fertilizers are many but the most attractive is the fact that your irrigation and […]
Submitted by Brian Frederick WE see quite often soldiers out with police officers on patrol sometimes in Police vehicles or BDF vehicles. One has to assume that the soldiers have a legal support role with the Police. One also has to assume that as a former squadie the BDF soldiers are trained in counter insurgency, […]
Submitted by Bentley Here’s an article with a comparison with olive oil. With all this abandoned agricultural land we have we could be growing these crops (using the permaculture method – see BU blog Support the Caribbean Permaculture Institute of Barbados) and initiating new agro-industries. A suggestion is for government to allow the use of […]
First let me declare my absolute and total support for those advocating the use and consumption of more locally produced items especially by our tourism industry. When the head of the Barbados Agricultural Society recently boasted that Sandals Barbados promised to purchase 1,000 pounds of local produce each week, no-one thought to question him as […]
Submitted by Anthony Davis With the future of Barbados’ struggling sugar industry already very uncertain, insurance and financial services giant Sagicor Financial Corporation today announced that it is in the process of reviewing its participation in the island’s agribusiness sector – Barbados Today Talk about dilatory tactics! I would like it take that long for […]
Isn’t it disappointing and a poor reflection on the leadership in Barbados we have to endure the perennial blame game concerning the state and future of the sugar industry in Barbados? At last month’s Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Prime Minister Stuart placed the blame squarely on the back of the private sector for the decline. Even if we accept Stuart’s position we have to ask him, who will lead? It is approaching mid-February and there has been no mobilization of the crop season to reap what is estimated to be 9,000 tonnes of sugar, the lowest in our history.
The average Barbadian is divided about whether sugar is uneconomic. Sadly the majority of positions taken are from uninformed position. Uninformed positions extend to social commentators (talk show hosts) who can be heard daily with positions like, let us follow the St. Kitts model. When the hell has Barbados been known for following lesser developed countries? Is this the sum of billions of investment in education?
Back to sugar!
Hardly a week seems to go by without one or two prominent figures calling for, or in some cases demanding, more use of local produce by our tourism industry and especially restaurants. First, I absolutely and totally support this objective but I wonder if the energy expended in trying to make this happen is entirely well placed or in fact truly balanced.
Some time ago the dairy farmers were complaining about being forced to accept lower prices and reduced quotas, the virtual monopoly milk processing entity unilaterally stopped making yogurts locally, pretty much a basic serving menu article in most hotels and alternative accommodation offerings. No-one can convince me that it is cheaper to bring in a foreign made refrigerated alternative across 6,000 or more miles by road and ship and for the wholesale distributors to always disperse them within the stated sell by date. There has to be waste and spoilage.
I also understand the economics of mass branded cheeses like Cheddar, but surely there are specialty items that can be made locally like double cream, feta and cottage cheese which are largely imported with a huge drain of foreign currency.
BU commenter Colonel Buggy responded to the question on the blog Tourism Sector a Cadre of Beggars – what is the answer for food security and the reduction of the food import bill in Barbados …? First of all we have to instil in our people the need to eat what we grow, and not […]
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Submitted by Damian Hinkson If farming were easy we would all be doing it! after all Food is our most basic need. So it stands to reason that farming should be profitable. However that’s not the case. I will point out why using 3 points below and then explain one solution to make farming profitable […]
“It has been reported that Barbados current food import bill is in the region of $800 million dollars annually. The Minister of Agriculture has also stated that 65 percent of our food is produced locally. This means we import 35 percent of our food. Our total food bill is therefore almost $2.3 billion dollars annually. […]
Submitted by Charles Knighton “Almost a quarter of Europe’s bumblebees are at risk of extinction due to loss of habitats, climate change, the intensification of agriculture and changes in agricultural land.” Study: A quarter of Europe’s bumblebees face extinction, 3 April Barbados Advocate Insects are under siege not just in Europe but worldwide, including Barbados. […]
The following extract about Aquaponics submitted by Ready done Aquaponic farming dates back to the Aztecs but due to the currently available combination of cheap plastics and Magnetic drive pumps it was recently re-discovered and improved upon as a viable organic farming method. The system is designed to hold fresh water fish in tanks, in […]
Submitted by Bentley Norville With all the recent and current talk on agriculture and our gargantuan food import bill a serious rethink on how we acquire our food is urgently required. With our food import bill around 800 to 900 million dollars a year we cannot afford not to. When we look at agriculture as […]
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 […]