Fri 7th Aug 2009

ULP ALBA agriculture initiative is an election trick

In 2001, when the ULP took office, agriculture was in a mediocre state. Gonsalves and the ULP boasted of their grandiose plan for agriculture, especially the banana industry. All their efforts over the past eight plus years with four Ministers of Agriculture, Selmon Walters, Girlin Miguel, Montegomery Daniel and now Saboto Ceasar, have borne no fruit.

They have only made agriculture worse. They discontinued the input credit to all banana farmers and further invited poverty in the rural economy. Several farmers had to abandon their farms and seek work elsewhere.

This was the ULP plan: keep the people poor and dependent and control them better. For eight years they presided over declining agriculture, hardly lifting a finger in a positive direction. Stud centres became a thing of the past under their watch. This is a major factor for the decline in the local animal stock.

All of a sudden Venezuela and ALBA are supposed to be our agricultural saviour. This was well timed to coincide with the upcoming referendum and general elections, all to provide a soft landing for Chavez state visit to SVG. We are making an appeal to all farmers of SVG not be fooled by this so called initiative.

Millions have been wasted by the ULP regime over their eight years on redundant projects. The Diamond stadium, the coconut water bottling plant at Congo Valley, the vacuum pack dasheen plant at Lauders, the project at Roseau for building carnival costumes, the fisheries complex at Owia and the fourteen resource centres, have all turned out to be a waste of taxpayers’ money. These projects are not adding value to our country.

Where was the ULP’s concern for our farmers and the rural poor during the past eight years? Were they not important enough to deserve proper assistance before? Time and time again, SVG Green Party has been saying that the Taiwanese agricultural initiatives over the past twenty eight years have been counter productive for our country.

All the Taiwanese have been doing here is cultivating poverty in our land. They have not built a single factory unit to employ anyone or export anything. They call themselves our friends, after creaming off three billion dollars of our fish annually. Have you ever heard the Taiwanese discuss fish as a major source of income for our country?

We are encouraging farmers to take the assistance given to them, but remember this must not be allowed to be used as a brain washer to purchase their votes. SVG Green Party is calling on the Minister of State responsible for this initiative, Saboto Caesar, to give the country a forecast of the improvement in our GDP after the 5.8 million dollars have been spent.

Like all the other initiatives that went before under this incompetent ULP government, history will show that this ALBA agriculture initiative will be another ULP white elephant.

For real wealth creation in SVG, we need a Green government. Only Green economic competence can bring wealth to every family. We look forward for your support and your vote at the election. Green is prosperity.

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