The former Agriculture Minister Moses Jn Baptiste has unleashed a blistering attack on his successor, accusing Ezekiel Joseph of sitting on his “backside” while the rest of the OECS islands move to diversify their Agricultural sectors.
Jn Baptiste, the MP for Vieux Fort North, made the remarks at a St Lucia Labour Party meeting on the Castries market steps Tuesday night.
He described Ezekiel Joseph as a “lazy man doing nothing”.
“Right now St Vincent and Dominica are shipping dasheen and other produce to the northern Caribbean while Ezekiel Joseph is sitting on his backside, a lazy man doing nothing, and all he’s saying is that he’s going to plant bananas,” Jn Baptiste said to loud cheers from the audience.
“The man is a lazy man,” he continued.
Mr. Jn Baptiste said the government had abandoned an ambitious plan to diversity St Lucia’s agricultural sector by shipping produce to islands in the Northern Caribbean and the United States.
He was referring to the virtual OECS Agri-Export Working group which began in June 2016.
Since the start of the initiative, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has shipped 3,325 50lb boxes of dasheen to the United States; and Dominica, on its first shipment, successfully exported a 20ft container comprising 425 50lb boxes of dasheen, according to a statement released last week by the OECS Secretariat.
Jn Baptiste said Ezekiel Joseph has the worst record in agriculture in St Lucia
He stated that, under the St Lucia Labour Party government, local agricultural sales to the hotels and supermarkets had increased.
He said public servants with a proven record of success in the Agricultural industry, who are now being sought after by other Caribbean islands, were fired by Ezekiel Joseph because he believes they are Labour party supporters.
He questioned whether the government had a plan for Agriculture in St Lucia.