Saint Lucia businessman Rayneau Gajadhar has launched an agricultural exports company, Rayneau Industries Limited in a bid to assist farmers.
It is a Saint Vincent and the Grenadines initiative but open to other countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Gajadhar explained that Vincentian Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar had been the most passionate about the venture.
“It should extend to the other OECS Islands, but it needs to get the passion from the governments and the Agriculture Ministers to become a reality,” the Saint Lucia businessman told St Lucia Times.
According to media reports, Gajadhar’s company exported a container of vegetables and fruits from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United States Virgin Islands last week.
“The idea is to buy all farmers’ agricultural products, whether good, bad, or ugly, grade the products, and look for markets to resell,” Gajadhar explained.
In addition, he disclosed that payment would be one of the critical elements of the initiative.
According to Gajadhar, farmers receive payment immediately when delivering their products and can use the money to reinvest in areas such as inputs.
He observed that access to ready markets had been an issue for farmers over the years.
And the Saint Lucia businessman told St Lucia Times that’s what he is seeking to provide farmers.
“Yes, we are going to take some losses and yes, we must get government intervention to subsidise some of it,” Gajadhar stated.
He noted that there would be no primary market because of the various product grades.
However, Gajadhar told St Lucia Times that he wanted to build a value-added industry to process products.
“So some of the products that we buy that may not be good for resale instantly, the idea is to develop value-added items where we give the product to other people for them to process – vacuum packed, whatever the case may be. But the important thing is I will guarantee that I will buy back every product they produce,” he said.
Why is this not a governmental-sponsored co-operative initiative aimed at maximizing profits for the collective of farmers, instead of profit for one middle-man?
Why is the focus not first on feeding the local population at the lowest cost, with local produce, and only then exporting the excess produced?
Is this in-place of a trade agreement?
@nudge cause if you have to wait on the government every time for something you wont go anywhere
yeah boy, Rayneau Gajadhar for Prime Minister!!!!!
To assist farmers? lol lol. Lucians watch your bread, or what little of it is left.
I like the ” assist the farmers” phrase…..man is a politician aka what’s in it for me.
This is a very good initiative from Rayneau … let’s see HOW it plays out. Rayneau is no fool!! This should get the govt off their backsides and offer a subsidy for such an important endeavour. He is right not to WAIT for them “to do something”. I am sure Rayneau did not think of this overnight, and a lot of sweat and thought went into this … let us see how it pans out. With agriculture one cannot go wrong!!
@Nudge … co-operatives are THE HARDEST organisation to put together!! Unfortunately, our people are not of this “co-operative” mindset, and want to do everything for themselves, and by themselves, and still want government intervention. Rayneau, I am sure, got wind of this type of mentality … so … he tryin’ a t’ing!! I do not blame him for forming some kind of initiative. We shall see if it is successful – for the farmers!!
“It is a Saint Vincent and the Grenadines initiative but open to other countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).”
Rayneau is simply entering into an open space. In the absence of a key player, entrepreneurs always move in. He is risking capital by paying in advance. I am doubtful that a governmental entity would make that offer. If they did, the voucher wouldn’t translate into actual cash until weeks. The seller would have to endure mucho bs.
Among the downside factors, farmers would gravitate to higher prices overseas and hurt the local market. Rayneau is not doing anything new. He is probably operating on a larger scale because he has the capital and know-how. This may be a call to government for more generous incentives to farmers. Rayneau’s program could make him a bundle of dough and some for the farmers.
Yes sir, I am ready to grab this opportunity and run with it. As a struggling farmer I say yes . At least you have st lucians in mind to help but some of us lucians are so laidback and color blinded it’s a shame .
This is an open window for all farmers; I see an opportunity not only for Mr. Gajadhar but for a lot of struggling farmers. I believe he will need assistance somewhere at sometime for marketing in various countries, and I know our fruit and vegetable is in high demand everywhere in the big cities. Why do we get stuff flown in from Guyana, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and all over Central America and never from St. Lucia? we need Sea Moss, Coconuts, Cocoa, Vanilla sticks and everything we lake for granted. One warning – keep government on a long Leash – keep the gangsters out.
The farmers are badly in need of a sustainable market. Let’s hope they get a fair price for their products so as to keep them motivated. Because of the absence of a sustainable market, a lot of farmers have given up on farming. We hope that this initiative is successful and can engage a bunch of idle hands. This effort should be managed in such a way that there would always be enough for local consumption.Farming is what kept us going back in n the day. Farmers need this badly regardless of whose initiative it is.
Why don’t you build factories to make things with the produce and to create employment. I have a master plan for my country St Lucia but will bring it to the table when uwp come in power both farmers and other Caribbean countries will benefit.
This is a great initiative however it needs to manage property to create a balance for having produce for the local population and for export. I like the fact that all the produce will be graded and purchased, I hope there will be a price per grade to provide more value for Farmer’s efforts.
My take is that the man have the capital and I would encourage him to continue doing what he envision from selling snow cones to what’s he likes. The most important is that he is a man who understands low income street level business so he should have a good idea now being able to put all the yarning years from the street to construction to retail outlets export and import of machinery etc. Once he have good people behind him and he have the necessary system and infrastructure in place this is a win win. The sad part is the st. Lucian gov should be highly ashamed of themselves. They only bark the words, only 1-5 benefits from grand and you can watch the other farmers fadeaway l. Bravo and take it to another level, I do wish you all success.
I can tell you all one thing no st lucia government has shown any interest in moving agriculture forward if they did they would have had some serious and obvious investments in that that would have made our manufacturing move forward a hundred years ago. So many factory shells remain empty in vueux fort. No wonder the place is dead and out of control. And now filled with rss troops. Blame slp. Blame uwp. Both parties have only been interested in filling their pockets. They have not been interested in creating and supporting avenues for employment. Any serious country know u must do so. But lucian politicians dont care. Chastanet first idea was to get rid of marketing board cause it was making no money. From the kenny years to now SLP have shown no interest in farming or manufacturing. Just sell passports so other lucians can starve while SLp big boys take government money and we st lucians see no benefit in these schemes
@Fasty and others … you ALL hit the nail on the head!!
@Dont Judge Me … you WILL see Agro-processing factories come into play – as soon as farmers, et al, realise what is ahead. Already, there are “mom and pop” agro processors in business. They, and others, (Rayneau too?) will jump up and grab the brass ring. Baby steps … IT WILL HAPPEN!!
@The Most Honorable Lucian Highgrade: What then is the real purpose & goal of a government that results from a well-funded (sponsors unknown), aggressive campaign by political parties to represent the collective aspirations, needs & will of the citizens of St. Lucia? Readers will note that you were frightened to read past the words “governmental-sponsored co-operative initiative” in my first question, much less to the content in my second question. Did I make your job as chief SLP hack a trifle untenable?
@LAB: You’ve chosen a different tack than “Lucian Highgrade” in responding to my questions (a UWP perspective, perhaps). You chose the logical fallacy, “appeal to authority,” to assert that common citizens (mere farmers) are only capable of a mentality which requires the government to fulfil the mission they were elected for, by the self-same farmers. You assert that Rayneau just “tryin’ a t’ing” (scooping up majority profits of the farmers’ hard labor); no doubt fully sanctioned by the government, because government officials could expect to reap “kick-backs” from this capitalist enterprise, which are not possible from a co-operative enterprise.
Rayneau on like a tech..he’s looking at the big picture…st.vincent….sooner or later we’ll be having marijuana export industries..and guess what?..the big man will be at the helm….very unfair but that’s just the way the shitstem operates