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Fri 18th Jan 2019

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SVG agriculture industry dying quickly

Several farmers in the agricultural industry in SVG have complained to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, that they are experiencing difficulty with having their farming produce stolen before they can harvest it from their field.

These farmers have also said that they experiencing difficulty finding a market for any produce that is fortunate enough not to be stolen. The high unemployment rate and lack of money circulating in SVG, means there is not enough buyers for Vincentian farmers’ produce.

The local market for agricultural produce is very weak, so weak that many farmers have given up growing food, because they know that their produce might be stolen or they will not get it sold.

The knock-on effect of many Vincentian farmers no longer growing food is that more money is spent on imported food. This further escalates the problem of no money circulating our country, as buying food from abroad puts money in the pockets of farmers abroad.

If all farmers in SVG felt confident enough to grow in SVG with a guarantee that, firstly, it would not get stolen from their fields, and secondly, they could sell their produce at market in SVG, then there would be more money circulating in our country, as Vincentians would be buying from local farmers and then those local farmers would spend their money at Vincentian shops.

It is a ‘Catch-22’ situation, as the less food we buy from Vincentian farmers the less money circulates in SVG, and then there is less chance of Vincentian farmers being able to sell their produce in SVG and then they stop growing food and then more people buy imported food.

The demise of the agriculture industry has spiralled out of control and the ULP regime has no idea how to solve the problem. The agriculture industry is dying quickly.

The dirty dog Taiwan came to SVG over 30 years ago under the pretence of helping the SVG agriculture industry, yet today the agricultural industry is virtually dead. Taiwan is just here milking SVG for billions of dollars annually from the SVG deep sea fish licence; they are not helping the SVG agriculture industry.

The Taiwan Ambassador to SVG should pack his bags and go back to Taiwan as he is of no use to SVG farmers.

SVG Green Party expresses sincere thanks to the government and people of India for a timely gift of one million USA dollars to the SVG agricultural industry towards improving the SVG arrowroot sector, which has been experiencing problems in production for a long time.

A major problem in SVG is gross incompetence by the ULP regime as they have decimated the agriculture industry and virtually killed the rural economy. Many of our farmers live in poverty and struggle to feed their families.

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA says that a Green government would revive agriculture and the rural economy. There are plenty of alternatives, including organic farming; building factories to produce and export tea, baby food and fruit juices; building a fish canning and exporting industry; and exporting other agro-products to the diaspora in Europe, Canada and the USA.

These measures will provide thousands of new jobs.

We must create markets for SVG’s farmers and get money circulating our country.

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