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)
Well, I am in total support of this call for Sanit Lucians to develop the agriculture sector, we have gotten lazy as a people, and we don’t think of the importance of having a robust agriculture sector until we are standing on long lines in front of Masey Just to buy tin mackerel. The sector should be revised from the educative perspective, by teaching agriculture science in schools. Gone are the days of the school garden or farm that gave young people their first interest in agriculture, I don’t even know if St Lucia still has a 4H Club anymore that’s what got me interested in agriculture as a young lad in primary school. Modern day agriculture Science should be thought as early as possible, we have to erase the stigma of dressing up in water boots and looking like you were digging for gold. Today’s technologies are unbelievable in the advance of growing crops and rearing animals. It involves earth science, math and physics, units of measurements. Old time farmers knew how to work the fields, but it does not have to be the same in 2023, with green house technology, don’t get it wrong its work, but it doesn’t have to be dutty work. When you reap your crops, one should learn modern day marketing and packaging, how to lobby government for funds and putting together portfolios for supermarkets, hotels, etc to purchase your product and this is where you will reap your rewards
Definitely need more focus on agricultural food dependency on this island, food is too expensive and this is where the youth find jobs in the future,…. every school should have a farm on a small scale growing food to give back to their communities and make money for their schools is the only 1 Gros Islet the only 1? ….yes orNo? Where are the youth learning these trades and skill sets?
Both of the two well establish have failed the people. They have failed private sector workerd. They have failed farmers tourism is what they are putting emphasis on over 80 percent of hotel workers earn wages as low as 3 dollars an hour . They can’t afford to build a house but hotels are expanding with the help of a corrupt banking system