The leader of Saint Lucia’s National Green Party (NGP) believes the island should put agriculture first but feels the authorities are not doing so.
“I don’t see anything that is happening. We need a national land preparation programme that includes drainage. We need a national irrigation programme,” Andre ‘Pancho’ de Caires explained.
The farmer by profession told St Lucia Times that Saint Lucia expects droughts, so farmers would have to use irrigation to get yields.
He also spoke of the need for adequate marketing so farmers can get reasonable prices for their products and continue to produce to feed the nation.
“Nobody is talking about infrastructural upgrades – climate change mitigation needs to take place and nothing is being done on the ground,” de Caires stated.
“I am concerned that we are not looking at food in a more serious manner,” the NGP leader told St Lucia Times.
He emphasised that food security had become increasingly important in light of current global developments, including the war in Ukraine and global supply chain challenges.
“We are going to see a rise in prices. Last year a block of cheese that is now nine dollars was five dollars. We could see peanut butter that was just ten dollars is now fourteen dollars – in one year. Ramen went from two dollars to five dollars,” de Caires recalled.
However, the NGP leader pointed out that although food prices are rising, salaries are not.
Headline photo courtesy Anaya Katlego (Unsplash.com)