PM cites need for agricultural ‘hub’

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has spoken of the need to create an agricultural hub in Saint Lucia, telling reporters that too many farmers are growing food without knowing whether there is a market for their produce.

“The idea is to be able to do an assessment,” the former Tourism Minister told reporters on Monday during a pre-cabinet interview.

“We know what the consumption is on a weekly basis and issue out contracts to farmers in specific areas to give them that  security that whatever they are growing they know what the price is going to be, the quality they have to be able to deliver to and that we are expecting to over produce because we are expecting that there is a regional market for some of the stuff that we are going to be producing,” Chastanet said.

The Prime Minister spoke of the work that Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL) did with farmers, including the initiative by CFL   and local hotels to ‘adopt’ farmers.

Chastanet asserted that the programme created stability.

He questioned the need for a marketing board, one of the debt-ridden entities which his administration has targetted for closure.

“If you look at the marketing board – why should the marketing board be given incentives to bring food in duty free when you have five or six major distributors here who are doing it  more successfully and paying duty?” Chastanet said.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    June 20, 2017 at 10:42 am Reply

    The question I have for St.Lucia Times, are you an official mouthpiece of the UWP Administration ????

    1. Anonymous
      June 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm Reply

      This is a perfectly legitimate question, and we will, in the fullness of time, get the answer. Some of us are ready, like Fredie, to defend our positions when we will be exposed for political reasons. Hold tight and wait for it.

      1. Anonymous
        June 20, 2017 at 3:02 pm Reply

        I don’t quite get why this question was asked based on this article. This appears to be just a news report. Can someone enlighten me?

  2. Anonymous
    June 20, 2017 at 10:48 am Reply

    For the St.Lucia marketing board to be profitable, and can be done easily, do what i did to remove the Marketing Board form a bank red of thousands of dollars to a bank Black within in six months,
    1 .St,Lucia produces some crops like tomatoes when st.Kitts do not, like wise most of the islands, make an arrangement with their marketing board that when wen are oversupplied, we will ship to them our over supple , and when they are over supplied they will ship to us,
    2. Allow the St.Lucia to import all produce into St.Lucia whill be controlled by the ministry of Agriculture, and all supermarkets or hotels must purchase from them, if the hotels and supermarkets have any suppliers that can sell better or cheaper produce , they have to refer to the st.Lucia marketing board to order for them,
    That was originally the purpose of the setting up of the marketing board, with finance from the British Overseas development.
    There are more that can be done such as exporting. but must have trained staff to do so, not political appointees
    Anthony Gajadhar

  3. Anonymous
    June 20, 2017 at 11:27 am Reply

    SLMB serves as a market price stabilizer. When it is removed and the market price is determined by private middlemen, then BAL FINI. For example, CFL assures high volume intake but pays amongst the lowest prices. When farmers are finished selling their whole van-load of produce to CFL thy feel like crying.

  4. Anonymous
    June 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm Reply

    Chastanet u are a fool u are not fit for the job

    1. Anonymous
      June 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm Reply

      Jealous much?
      Get over it, you have many more years to deal with him.

  5. Anonymous
    June 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm Reply

    Can you do anybetter,smdh

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