Prospere: Backyard Gardens Can Help Vulnerable Citizens Meet Their Food Needs

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Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere, acknowledging that vulnerable people would suffer the most from the cost of living increases, has indicated that backyard gardens can assist them in meeting their food needs.

He explained that food security had become a global issue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, and the Saint Lucia government was putting a strategy in place to address the problem.

“One of the things we need to encourage is to see that they introduce the whole backyard garden concept where we can provide the seedlings to them at a low cost and at the same time they can grow some of the things that they eat right there in the backyard,” the Minister said regarding vulnerable citizens.

“We must be careful how we do it because we have our commercial farmers – we don’t want to make them think that they are competing with an introduction of backyard gardens,” he told reporters this week.

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“That may make it difficult for them to sell their produce, knowing that is what they depend on,” Prospere explained.

He also observed that the dry spell would impact food security.

According to the Minister, many slope farmers will not be able to produce food because of the low rainfall Saint Lucia is experiencing currently.

In this regard, he spoke of the need to take food security seriously.

“We must ensure that we educate, sensitise our stakeholders in the agriculture as to what they can do and not do to ensure that we remain self-sufficient,” Prospere stated.

In addition, he acknowledged that the food import bill is high.

And the Minister observed that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is looking at a 25 percent reduction by 2025.

“I think the food import bill in the Caribbean is in the billions,” Prospere asserted.

However, he expressed that the region can grow much of what it imports.

In the case of Saint Lucia, he explained that’s the objective of the seven crops programme targetting produce that can grow locally and which the Island does not have to import in large quantities.

“I believe if we can focus on that, we will be able to reduce our food import bill significantly,” Prospere told reporters.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

11 COMMENTS

  1. This clown is just wandering around the place with his pompous self, smiling like a cat, clueless as to what is happening in his constituency. Has he engaged the farmers in Dennery who have so many issues that need addressing. He is too busy getting rich and giving his in laws contracts aided by his notorious council chairman. A rookie minister engaging in such activity so early shows his agenda was always to get his long fingers in the kitty. When he is not insulting people saying he has his pension and gratuity and doesn’t need them, he is busy dodging the people who voted for him by saying is not him ask his henchman and vice versa. This man is just like the rest……….just in power to get rich quick. BTW hope he recovers quickly……..word of caution when traveling to African countries be sure to educate yourself about the disease prevalent in their country, protect yourself and get vaccinated accordingly.

  2. Yes Minsiter Prospere let them eat more green figs while thy travel in style all over the world with your entourage eating steak and lobster …… by the way is your IQ 62 ?

  3. I personally cannot believe that a minister will say such things in the 1st place. Like as if the common man do not know how to become self sufficient… like forking really minister? Then answer this question.. why are you accepting such huge pay check from the Taiwanese to teach your people about Agriculture? Why is your MOA so riddle with Agri Consultants and who cannot device an independent Lab of your own to foster Agri? We are on this soil some 300+ years down from its core and you want to have peasant agricultural farmers to come and show us how to cultivate? You and the previous Minister is in the same canoe, lack of vision, no substance what so ever. Explain what is the purpose of the SLDB and how many individuals did it ever served in the Agriculture aspect?… You people need to stop think we are just a pack of idiots but we are not you are just exposing your incompetence that’s all.

  4. It is a pity that with a MOA from the Dennery South the farmers have yet to have any meaningful engagement with him. DS was already a forgotten constituency, and by all accounts it will continue to be that way under labour. Look at the way they treat the people who have done battle for them over the years…. neglected, forgotten, treated like nothing. Charity begins in one’s backyard but as a community that is only useful to count as a seat we don’t expect much.

  5. Then help us acquire property to do so at an affordable rate. I would love a rent till own deal. It is so difficult to get property within your means

  6. Without adequate water– whether from WASCO or from harvesting it from our rooftops when it rains, the concept of a backyard garden is nonsense! However, with adequate water, it is a great idea. Also, if the Agriculture minister is serious, he must help all the people manage the issue of pests such as the African Snail, caterpillars, etc. Talk is cheap unless it is coupled with practical actions!

  7. I do not think that will be the solution Alfred. Remember the vendors depend on the public to buy the foods. So buying from the market vendors is helping the solution. Another thing you keep saying plant what we eat and I do agree with that statement but by importing foods and other commodities generate revenue for the government since government love taxing. So where will the government gets some of its revenue? Will property tax be introduced in rural areas or will VAT increase. Tell us please.

  8. And what are you doing to help the farmers in your own backyard in Dennery South? They face water problems on their farms and are especially harassed by the wasco bulldog for a cut. Your community, where you are their elected representative and minister of agriculture should be the model example of what backyard gardening should be but instead it takes a back seat on every thing because you are only interned about yourself, friends and family.

  9. Yes sir I do support that, but remember we had a junior minister in the ministry of agriculture and cooperative, but he let one of the number one agriculture cooperative fall under his nose 👃 the one at the myass bridge, so I am looking forward to see what you can do together with the ministry of cooperative, this cooperative used to provide farmers with seedlings, marketing and others stuffs

  10. Ive already started. Tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, broccoli, peppers etc. Ive never done any gardening in my life apart from a few pot plants but im going to try as the prices are shooting up and I can’t see them coming down anytime soon.

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