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EDITOR: The time is over-due for the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Windward Island Farmers’ Association (W I N F A) and all of the major players in agriculture in this country to cast away this peripheral direction. Repeatedly the call has been made for the birth of the required physical plan and application. {{more}} This has just not happened nor is it in the offering.

What is currently brewing between the management of the Kingstown Town Board and the “Vendors” in the markets and bus terminals could not have come at a more appropriate time. Many of the “Vendors” are unrelenting in their demands that the state should provide them with a “workplace” for them to sell. Now, we need to put “Vendors” into perspective: (1) “Vendors” who sell Vincentian agriculture produce exclusively, (2) “Vendors” who sell a mixture of the above along with imported ones (agriculture) and (3) the ones who sell imported products exclusively. So, just who are the suppliers and just where are they coming from? Whose obligation is it to facilitate their retail business? What role is the St. Vincent Marketing Corporation playing? Finally, is our government a contributor, albeit unwittingly?

As consideration is given to all of the above and we factor-in this thing they call the “CSME” we need to get up off our humps urgently and target all of the hotels and restaurants in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and the OECS countries for a start, seventy five percent fresh and frozen vegetables and other processed stuff.

We need to change our present economic course. It is socially and economically prudent as a response to the alleviation of poverty and unemployment. The state has to provide the spaces at a cost to the occupant. The question of costs is irrelevant in the face of imperatives. This is precisely what we are facing. S.M.Quammie

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