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Show some support for local produce

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Nov.24.06

EDITOR: I am appalled by comments made by the Minister of Health and the Environment in respect to agriculture. The minister in his recent bid to wish the Vincentian nursing students travelling to Cuba farewell said that his government is moving away from agriculture. Simply put, agriculture, for this government, is not a viable industry for SVG, yet these are the same people who will tell us about food security for the region and our own country and encourage us to support local produce. {{more}}

My question to him is: “As people in government, how are you showing your support for local produce?” I don’t know how many of you are taking note but many of the produce that are produced/were produced here in SVG are now being sold to us as imported products either as manufactured or packaged goods.

Do you remember when carrots, chive and onions were grown in abundance in Rose Hall? The negligence exhibited by this government towards agriculture has given our farmers no choice than to seek other viable means of sustaining themselves.

Whenever the issue of agro-processing is raised for some crafted reason it is deemed as not a viable industry or option for this government; yet, the same people who claimed such, encourage Vincentian entrepreneurs to get involved in agro-processing and applaud those who are already making headway in it. I am confused. I don’t know which industry or industries other than the tax industry will carry the economic brunt of this country but a well trained labour force with the absence of any significant economic growth and development will only encourage a brain drain. I want to say that I have no problem with an efficient tax system; however, economic growth must not be seen only in the books and by those who are so good at presenting figures.

The average Vincentian must be able to see and benefit from any economic growth. Economic growth must be reflected in the standard of living of every Vincentian.

Loyal to Da Bone

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