Asserting that the government of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has a proud record in agriculture, Minister of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries, Co-operatives and Rural Development , Moses “Musa” Jn Baptiste, has challenged the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) to a debate on agriculture.
Jn Baptiste has said that despite criticism from the opposition, there have been major developments in agriculture under labour.
He noted that the Island has seen the highest revenues for local produce in terms of purchases either by hotels on the Island or locals.
“We see an increase in the purchase of local cassava, we see kale on the market now, we see an increase in livestock, we see our plants with the poultry farmers and we see what we have done to help complete the work at the meat processing facility in Beausejour,” the Minister observed.
He recalled that the government has also tackled the issue of late payment to fishers.
“A new board and a new company have been established,” he declared, adding that through the new fisheries and agriculture incentives act millions of dollars in investment have come to agriculture.
“I think we need some honest debate and I keep asking the UWP, challenging them to a debate on agriculture moderated by someone in the media,” Jn Baptiste said.
The Minister asserted that he was ready for the debate, whether against UWP leader, Allen Chastanet or former Agriculture Minister, Ezechiel Joseph.
However while enumerating the achievements of the current government in agriculture, Jn Baptiste admitted that there was more to be done.
He said this included work on agriculture feeder roads.