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Barbados Advocate: Senator Lowe makes a plea for small farmers

Web Posted – Thu Mar 29 2007

Opposition Senator Dr. Denis Lowe, wants Government to pay more attention to the plight of small farmers.

While speaking in the Upper House yesterday morning during debate of the Appropriation Bill, 2007, Senator Lowe made a call for the country’s import food bill to be reduced, and for Government to pave the way for small farmers, to enable them to run sustainable businesses. It is time that healthier eating is encouraged, and persons living in the country should be aided in doing so, by being encouraged to eat what they grow. Many food outlets he said, should pay more attention to giving these small farmers a chance and should partner with them, so that they are able to produce consistently, some of the agricultural commodities needed in supermarkets across the country.

“Too many of us now are eating imported foods, and there are those who believe that there might be some relationship between the status of health of the nation and what we eat in this country. And I would want to continue to encourage that the Cabinet of Barbados gives the kind of support to the efforts of the Minister (of Agriculture), so that the Minister can get more done for all in the area of agriculture,” Lowe urged.

He also made a plea for the small farmers in Christ Church East, who are continuing to fight “a David and Goliath fight”.

“There is still a lingering issue with the Shell matter in Christ Church East, and I am still not happy with the level of open participation by Government. I must give the Minister of Agriculture credit, because I know that he has tried and has been trying to bring redress and conclusion to this matter, but I believe that the implication for this Shell oil spill, is not only an agricultural issue, but I believe it is also an environmental issue. And therefore, I would have expected that the leader of this state, would have made public representation about his expectations, relative to the resolution of this issue,” Lowe said.

“These farmers are suffering…they continue to fight against the odds to keep their businesses. They continue to fight against the odds to keep running water going to their homes and to their crops, and I plea in a most earnest way. I have beseeched the Government that something be done urgently, because these are men and women who can assist on helping the state to feed the nation. And I believe every small farmer in this country needs that kind of attention and I am asking again, that attention be given again, to the resolution of this matter with Shell”. (RS)

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One Comment

  1. Janis Goodridge says:

    The article was very helpful in preparing a project for my Policy Analysis Course at UWI. The project is on Small Farmers in Barbados and there is very little information representing the views of the farmers and their problems. It would be helpful if more voices are heard on behalf of these persons, and the problems which they encounter in accessing the services/incentives which are provided. These are the things we want to know when doing our research.

    Thanks for the article

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