Barbados Mulls Agriculture Overhaul

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 25, 2012

By the Caribbean Journal staff

An overhaul to Barbados’ agriculture sector is long overdue, according to prominent agriculturalist Dr Chelston Brathwaite.

Brathwaite said Barbados is still operating a model inherited from the pre-independence period.

“That model has run its course,” he said. “We have changed education, health, [and] our infrastructure but we have not changed the agricultural sector.”

It’s a view shared by Agriculture Minister Dr David Estwick, who said that the sector in its current form was “stymied and constrained.”

Agriculture has remained between 3.5 and 3.7 percent of GDP in the country for the last 15 years, the Minister said.

“I believe we can make agriculture a viable and even greater contributor to the Gross Domestic Product,” he said. “For too long, there has been a view that agriculture is dead or dying but … I believe we can make the sector a vibrant, financially viable entity.”

Estwick was speaking to members of the country’s new National Agricultural Commission, which held its first meeting on Friday.

Earlier this month, the government announced it was making a push to encourage citizens on home gardening.

In the autumn, Eastwick announced that making the sector more technologically advanced was also a priority.

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