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Gurmry ah way yuh come from?

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When man like Renwick Rose says dat Agriculture Minister, Gurmry Daniel must go or be replaced, things got to be overbearing, water more dan flour! Renwick tek long to say or see dat. Gurmry ratings been dropping, although de problem is beyond him, it is frustrating him. Check out how almost everything being done in Gurmry’s Constituency and Ministry and even by extension de Guv-ah-mint gone sleep, Bananas, Our-root, Cassava de Owia Fishing complex, Tour-is-him, everything except de corrupt-shun!{{more}} And is like de more Gumry watch, de less he seeing, or seeing but teethless or speechless except when somebody tell him: “Carib must go!” Dat “Slur” is as foolish as Gumry’s “chained gang and indentured-ship people” reply.

To add to Gumry’s dilemma, check out Jerrol Thompson’s contribution to unwanted Race-is-him; de late, Jerrol, pull-it-to-kill-he dat is, ah supposedly intelligent Doctor, who was declared by de PM to be “arguably de brightest minister in de last Administration.”

Dey’s life after politics, Jerrol! Sorry to say this Renwick, but de glory days ah Banana are long gone, and while de ULP inherited many problems, Banana has seen its worse days under de ULP, de Industry is more nay dan hey.

Dey did promise much foh Bananas, as ah matter of fact, dey did promise ah lot ah everything under dey New Dis-pen-say-shun cum Civil-lies-ah-say-shun.

Today by contrast, we seeing Vincentian businessmen running, surrendering dey businesses to foreigners; Tour-is-him helm-raging in spite ah Soboto’s desperate effort. De Hotels dem MT, Young Island up foh sale. Ah met my cousin now living in Canada who passed home on ah Cruise Ship earlier dis year. Ah ask her what were de tourists general impressions ah SVG: “Very bad”, she said; “dey loved de scenic drive, but those who came ashore and headed down Bay Street, made ah 180 degrees turn and went back on de ship. De town was too dirty, nothing when compared with St Kitts and Bo-bathe-us,” she said. Our Bananas continue to battle wid de ravages ah de stronger elements of nature and vicious diseases.

What beats me is dat Gurmry de Agriculture Minister, ah trained Agriculturalist and Banana Farmer who travels daily from Sandy Bay to town, must have seen dem dying Banana fields, looking like ah grave-yard, and it never dawn on him dat de Industry falling apart. No brother Gumry, yuh ain’t behaving like ah man way know way he come from, dem indentured and chained people go laugh at yuh. Lie-Za yuh say, yuh may know way yuh come from but she know way yuh going, it’s about Race alright, de pull-it-to-kill Race out!

And much de same can be said bout, “de Our-root/Cassava Factory!” Remember ten years ago, Gurmry’s Ministry again wid de den newly refurbished factory at Owia dah was supposed to deliver sooo much? When was de last time anybody see ah pack ah “St. Vincent Our-root Starch” on de Supermarket shelf? Ah hate to refer to Our-root as ah Starch, it’s ah cereal, ah remarkable baby food. Wid de Cassava/Farine ah will be less ruff on Gumry and give him ah five out ah ten foh Farine.

Whenever we get Farine from de Owia Factory it is cheaper and more refine dan de Farine from other local producers. Ah underline whenever, meaning whenever dey get Cassava, our Farmers lapsing. Farine is another cereal dat is high in fibre but given lickle or no prominence in our Vincy diet. We know all bout Bran, Oats, Wheat and Corn Flakes from foreign. Space ain’t dey to deal wid de dormant Owia Fishing complex so ah touching on just two crops, Our-root and Cassava dat could bring millions ah dollars to Farmers and mek dem less dependent on Bananas. Yuh don’t have to be ah racket scientist or Ah-gran-ah-mess to figure out dat de Banana fields in SVG are suffering from ah nervous break-down, tired, over-wuk, over used.

Man is almost sixty years dem fields been going non-stop, worse dan ah machine : “First we spray fields wid poisonous substance to kill weeds; den we coat de plant sucker wid ah poisonous substance to kill any disease in de soil; we apply fertilizer (more chemical); den as leaves appear, ah series ah spraying foh all mannah diseases including, leaf-spot and Black Soca-took-her.” No wonder such large quantities ah we Bananas are being rejected when dey reach in de UK. Lie-Za’s humble observation is dat while we dumping all d’s chemicals, weed-aside and pest-aside in de soils to produce ah higher yield foh our consumption, de incidences ah Cancer and other diseases in de country are equally as high or even higher. Ah will say “Yes” to ah substantial compensation foh Banana Farmers on one condition, dey let de Banana fields tek ah rest from de chemicals and poisons, time to go Organic, plant peas, vanilla and string beans; corn, grass and let go live-stock in de fields. Coconut and Cocoa are alternatives, thread cautiously wid dis Cocoa deal. Bananas have been ah quick-cash crop, but some day, de best of friends must part.

De wey things looking, we could be at de end ah de rope wid Bananas, but when it goes, dey will be casualties, not just Gurmry, possibly ah whole regime.

And wid dat is gone ah gone again!

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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