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Fri 26th Oct 2012

ULP regime's wilful destruction of prime agricultural lands is an act of madness

Having food security is essential if SVG wants to achieve any form of sustainable development. SVG has limited agricultural land space and so we must use our lands wisely. Unfortunately, the ULP government seems determined to destroy prime agricultural lands with various acts of madness.

The continued loss of prime agricultural lands means more food is sourced from abroad. The problem is already at a dangerous level. In 2011, SVG spent $205 million on importing food from abroad. Another consequence of losing prime agricultural lands has been the dramatic increase in the price of numerous food items. Many poor families are now struggling to feed themselves.

The incompetent Gonsalves built the Belle Isle jail on some of the most fertile and productive agricultural land we have. This land should have been used to help feed our people and help bring down the cost of food. We should have grown foods such as carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage and other important short crops.

Another act of madness was to move Vincentians away from farming prime agricultural land at Buccament and then let foreign developers build a holiday resort for foreigners at Buccament Bay on this prime agricultural land.

The ULP regime clearly has no sensible land policies that will help our people achieve food security and spur our country on to the path of sustainable development.

Another act of madness by the grossly incompetent ULP government was the cutting up prime agricultural land to build low-income houses. This wanton destruction of prime agricultural lands shows that they have poor vision and little sense of responsibility. The low-income houses should have been built elsewhere, not on prime agricultural lands.

If the careless ULP regime is allowed to carry on and destroy hundreds more acres of prime agricultural land, then the next generation's food security will be in grave danger. They may have to rely on imported food for their survival.

We have an obligation to protect and to preserve the living environment for the next generation. Our country is blessed with good agricultural lands and much rainfall. It will be a sad day when SVG becomes barren and relies heavily on imported food.

SVG's 33 years of independence is a very short period, but rather than build for sustainable development, the short-sighted ULP policy makers are destroying our beloved country. This is very sad for future generations.

A Green Government will make food security a high priority, by promoting a sustainable development policy of 'grow what we eat and eat what we grow'. This will help create thousands of new jobs in SVG, bring down the price of food and lead to the responsible use of prime agricultural lands.

A Green government will reverse the dangerous rise of reliance upon expensive, imported food, create a thriving short-term crops industry and turn SVG in to a big food exporter. This will bring prosperity to our people.

The ULP regime has killed the rural economy. A Green Government will revive the rural economy to make it strong and sustainable and empower our people. We must take in to account climate change and plan for sustainable development of the systems that can bring food security in our beloved country.

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