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Threading the needle

Threading the needle

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The sentiments expressed by brother Renwick Rose in the opening paragraph of his column “EYE OF THE NEEDLE” in the “Searchlight newspaper” of August 20th 2021 bears repeating, for it quite likely resonates with the majority of the people of this land considering that we are predominantly of African Kalinago and Indian orientation and the documented history of the circumstances which bind us.

The paragraph reads………. “Whatever one thinks of the motives for persons engaged in weekly protests and picketing primarily around the Parliament building, it is at least a welcome sign of persons exercising their democratic rights to express their views. In the long run, if more and more people are prepared to stand up and speak out, then it ought to increase popular participation in what we call the democratic process”.

Mr. Rose went on to discuss the sad state of our economy and declared that the days when our agriculture was able to play a strong role in our economic and social development “have long gone”. He said that Tourism is “The essential ingredient in the economic development thrust of the Caribbean”.

I wish here to draw Mr. Rose attention to the fact, that he is regarded as being a strong player with respect to the present decline of agriculture generally in SVG and particularly to the crippling of the banana Industry leaving over six thousand farmers and their twenty thousand and more workers without income. There has been the perception expressed that the Ralph Gonsalves administration deliberately crippled the Banana Growers Association.

To address the disappointment, the feeling of betrayal particularly in the agricultural community, relative to the seemingly sincere undertaking he had declared in 2001, Renwick Rose should feel duty bound to participate in the frank and open discussion on the following subjects.

1. The repeal of the Banana Industry Act of 2001 which was effected in 2009. It was declared to be aimed at the improvement of the Banana Industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

2. “The Banana Consultative Committee” of which WINFA was a member.

3. “A Review of THE WINDWARD ISLANDS BANANA INDUSTRY” is the title of a document that was prepared in 2014, it should provide useful information for our discussions.

Renwick Rose’s contributions to those discussions will be valuable, considering the central role he has been playing over the last twenty years.

LeRoy Providence