PM: Agriculture alone cannot support support development

PM: Agriculture alone cannot support support development

Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has declared that agriculture,  by itself, cannot sustain Saint Lucia’s development.

Chastanet asserted that agriculture cannot generate enough jobs and income.

Nevertheless, he said that the sector is “incredibly important” to this country in terms of security and incremental revenue.

Chastanet explained that land that cannot be used for anything else and is put into agriculture helps to diversify the income base.

Chastanet disclosed that his administration will put a heavy focus on agriculture and tourism.

“Agriculture may not move the GDP numbers, but it provides incremental revenue to the households of the people – particularly in the rural areas,” he stated.

In regard to tourism, Chastanet said that the sector becomes a platform to support diversification.

“Through tourism, you can then grow the agriculture sector and even from an agro-processing perspective, introduce products that tourists would not have known,” he observed.

“Do you think that a tourist not coming to Saint Lucia can go into a grocery store in England and seeing a bottle of Chairman’s Reserve is going to buy that over a bottle that is heavily marketed? But the fact that he would have come to Saint Lucia and would have had Chairman’s Reserve here and has fond memories of it, creates that demand and then he will introduce that brand to other people,” Chastanet said.

Chastanet observed that tourism has survived several challenges.

He said these included zika, the financial crisis, the Gulf war, 9/11 and the largest recession.

Chastanet noted that the fastest growing sector in the US and the UK coming out of the financial recession was tourism.

“Tourism is no longer a luxury – people need to go on vacation and as the world becomes smaller, people want to go on vacation,”  the former Tourism Minister noted.

Chastanet said he sees good prospects for tourism.

“The fact that you are having these problems in the Middle East now I think augurs extremely well  for the Caribbean, but what we need to do is a better job of taking advantage of that,”  he stated.

“How can we be so dependent on tourism and not have the best hospitality school in the world for tourism in the Caribbean?” The Saint Lucia Prime Minister asked.

He explained that the region needs to start taking itself more seriously.

 

 

19 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    April 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm Reply

    I have a couple 4-6 meals a day! Mr.PM what are u talking about? Food first SORRY

    1. Anonymous
      April 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm Reply

      You have missed the point.

  2. Alvin Ernest
    April 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm Reply

    The role of the Culinary Institute of St Lucia should be to create recipes and dishes that favour local ingredients. These should be of world class quality in terms of taste and presentation… as it would represent brand “St Lucia”. I believe that the institute should experiment with favourite recipes from around the world, to create and inspire St Lucian versions… I am no “foodie” or connoisseur but I have always been intrigued by the idea that the classic “Potatoe Dauphinoise” could inspire a St Lucia dish, let’s call it “Dasheen Dauphinoise” by substituting the potatoes with the St Lucian Dasheen and a little French Blue Cheese (from the neighbours in Martinique) to flavour the cream… I have a feeling that the blue cheese would compliment the slight blue colour of the Dasheen… I don’t know if this would work, but I am sure the Culinary Institute of St Lucia would be able to give this a much more palatable twist… Just imagine taking all the best selling recipes from around the world and giving them a St Lucian treatment, that favours local ingredients… How much value could that add to St Lucia’s farming sector? There could even be recipe books that follow… all of which could be sold via hotel/restaurant menus across the island…. all building, brand “St Lucia!”

  3. Alvin Ernest
    April 6, 2017 at 6:34 pm Reply

    What is needed is a strategy that links Tourism and Agriculture…. The role of the Culinary Institute of St Lucia should be to create recipes and dishes that favour local ingredients. These should be of world class quality in terms of taste and presentation… as it would represent brand “St Lucia”. I believe that the institute should experiment with favourite recipes from around the world, to create and inspire St Lucian versions… I am no “foodie” or connoisseur but I have always been intrigued by the idea that the classic “Potatoe Dauphinoise” could inspire a St Lucia dish, let’s call it “Dasheen Dauphinoise” by substituting the potatoes with the St Lucian Dasheen and a little French Blue Cheese (from the neighbours in Martinique) to flavour the cream… I have a feeling that the blue cheese would compliment the slight blue colour of the Dasheen… I don’t know if this would work, but I am sure the Culinary Institute of St Lucia would be able to give this a much more palatable twist… Just imagine taking all the best selling recipes from around the world and giving them a St Lucian treatment, that favours local ingredients… How much value could that add to St Lucia’s farming sector? There could even be recipe books that follow… all of which could be sold via hotel/restaurant menus across the island…. all building, brand “St Lucia!”

  4. angst rom
    April 6, 2017 at 11:14 pm Reply

    How about teaching technology subjects in our schools – perhaps in afew years we could start making things to sell abroad…useful things, with high value. All the world is competing for the tourism market and they throw more money at it than St Lucia can afford!

  5. John Williams
    April 6, 2017 at 11:31 pm Reply

    I guess the answer is to give everything away in the name of tourism. Then the investors move to the next “it” spot and leave their wreckage on the island. Seen that too many times. The focus should be on agri-business to avoid being screwed.

  6. Lucianman101
    April 7, 2017 at 9:08 am Reply

    Will still need more focus on agriculture so we can become a self -sustainable economy.If we can lower of import bill that will grow our GDP numbers Mr. PM

  7. Anon1
    April 7, 2017 at 9:32 am Reply

    I guess Tourism and CIPs will grossly increase our revenues!

    Allen are you saying that the Banana Industry didn’t generate substantial income for us in its hey day!

    Agriculture if you are willing and determined invest in it can definitely support development.

    The problem is that you’ve got your blinkers on and they will probably always be on.

    You are from a Tourism back so you will never see the potential in other industries.

    You have NO new ideas to generate income which isn’t associated to the Tourism Industry.

    Yours and your families assets/investments are tied up in Tourism, locally, regionally and internationally.

    So you will always have a vested interest in the Industry.

    Open your eyes and notice what going on around you regionally and internationally with regards to Cannabis, Weed, Marijuana, Ganja whatever you chose to call it.

    They’re states in the US with a bigger population than St Lucia who are generating BILLIONS of revenue from the cash crop.

    I can go on but you seriously need to get your blinkers off.

    Just read the latest news in Jamaica on the crop and they plans!

    And am from a Travel and Tourism back ground.

    1. Anonymous
      April 9, 2017 at 10:24 pm Reply

      those guys never understand, despite its growth around the world it is the most fragile sector, we do need agriculture, remember a country that cannot feed its people is doomed. there is room for agriculture, it can survive on its own, and can be linked with our tourism sector..

  8. Anonymous
    April 7, 2017 at 11:11 am Reply

    I wish to comment because as a former minister for agriculture I worked with colleagues and partners; farmers, fishers , international agencies and staff to prove that agriculture does move the GDP and does create substantial employment . If we cut 100 million from imports we can employ thousands in this our ” dual economy” as Sir Arthur puts it . Look at the figures between 2013 and 2016. You well see that there was an improvement. Check the IMF report of 2016 and 2017. I have ALWAYS felt the Caribbean leaders are missing the point. We spent 5 to 6 billion US in Caribbean to import food. There is another more profound reason for pushing tourism. More in another forum . Lastly I calculated that for every dollar of local revenue that I got for agriculture between 2012 and 2016 in the ministry that I was responsible for we (all partners acting jointly) returned 6 to 7 dollars to the economy( rough estimates). More to come on this debate. Please check the Social and Economic Review up to 2016 to critic my points. I am solidly a proponent of the view that agriculture and related activities is the most potent response to economic stagnation in the Caribbean. Musa.

  9. Moses Jnbaptiste.
    April 7, 2017 at 11:15 am Reply

    PM IS DEAD WRONG. Agriculture does move the GDP.

    I wish to comment because as a former minister for agriculture I worked with colleagues and partners; farmers, fishers , international agencies and staff to prove that agriculture does move the GDP and does create substantial employment . If we cut 100 million from imports we can employ thousands in this our ” dual economy” as Sir Arthur puts it . Look at the figures between 2013 and 2016. You well see that there was an improvement. Check the IMF report of 2016 and 2017. I have ALWAYS felt the Caribbean leaders are missing the point. We spent 5 to 6 billion US in Caribbean to import food. There is another more profound reason for pushing tourism. More in another forum . Lastly I calculated that for every dollar of local revenue that I got for agriculture between 2012 and 2016 in the ministry that I was responsible for we (all partners acting jointly) returned 6 to 7 dollars to the economy( rough estimates). More to come on this debate. Please check the Social and Economic Review up to 2016 to critic my points. I am solidly a proponent of the view that agriculture and related activities is the most potent response to economic stagnation in the Caribbean. Musa.

    1. Anonymous
      April 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm Reply

      Shut up Miss. Wish I wouldn’t see you ugly head ever again.

  10. Mike seely
    April 7, 2017 at 11:17 am Reply

    Allan always makes sense.

  11. Anonymous
    April 7, 2017 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Pm I feel sorry for you you put all your eggs in one basket.

  12. Anonymous
    April 7, 2017 at 1:51 pm Reply

    He is right. Agriculture needs to take more advantage of the tourism sector. Baron has the formula down! You know how many people hooked on banana ketchup. We also need to come up with a marketing ad for our coconut water. With the new cruise arrivals expected this year it is an ideal opportunity for farmers to take advantage once they get a platform.

  13. Jacques Boucle
    April 7, 2017 at 1:57 pm Reply

    Prime Minister Chastanet sounds very elementary. This is all that he has to offer? Mr. Prime minister my two-year-old son knows that agriculture alone is not sufficient to drive any economy. This is why most countries have what is called a mixed economy. Do you know what is a mixed economy Mr. Prime Minister? Please, do not treat us like fools. Tell us how you are going to curb runaway inflation, severe economic inequality, your market fundamentalist ideology that serves the interest of those at the top, your regressive taxation policy, reduce hunger and poverty. Please do not repeat the obvious because we are more intelligent than you think.

  14. Anonymous
    April 7, 2017 at 11:18 pm Reply

    i dont appreciate the comment about taking advantage of what is happening in the middle east because it is very terrible for the people living there

  15. Anonymous
    April 9, 2017 at 11:51 am Reply

    Some people are opposing just because they want to oppose. There is truth in what has been said and why not just admit it. You may not agree entirely but learn to be purposefully objective. Smh

    Now Mr Prime Minister you have stayed a point how do we move on. How do we increase in tourist arrive without paying the airlines for empty seats?

  16. sharon terrell
    April 9, 2017 at 11:52 am Reply

    Bananas alone,not even Agriculture alone can sustain an economy so St.lucia will become an island of just bananas,a country for the dead i mean people want fun,excitement leisure time,they want to island hop.I mean we going to st.lucia on vacation to see Green fig and Dasheen and crap.What next stand their in the street or sit on the beach all day.And if you getting visitors to your country they need a place to stay,Agriculture and Tourism,example hotels,parks,rides,concerts,its all about fun and excitement not Dasheen Yam and Banana why would i go on vacation to see produce.I dont know why you’ll think Allan Chastanet should just alone turn to Dasheen and Banana alone how many markets and investors or such an investment profits and gains you’ll can make on Produce alone. St Lucia stop peeing on my grave tell me its raining,stupidness and more stupidness everyday.Allan Chastanet need to turn that island into a 5 star together with its people right now you’ll a 1 star.Stop you’ll stupidness.

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