Vital step

The world economy will never go back to what it was 20, 15 or even 10 years ago. And that is why Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul, believes that Barbados needs to embrace renewable energy if it is to achieve a sustainable agricultural sector.

He made these comments during the launch of Agrofest 2013 at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort. The event, which will be held under the theme: Renewable Energy – Leading the Charge into the Future takes place from February 22 to 24 in Queen’s Park, Bridgetown.

The CEO, who gave an overview of the annual agricultural exhibition, said fossil fuels could no longer be the answer if local agriculturalists were to survive.

“We need to show agriculturalists what their options are… Fossil fuels have gone up in price. Corn is edging back up above $7 a bushel… Last month there was some dipping in the price of corn but looking at the markets now, it is edging back up. We have to recognise that things have changed. It will never ever go back to what it was in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s or even the 1990s.

“It will not go back there, so … if we are to continue agriculture as we go forward, we have to recognise that we have to promote that thing which gives our local agriculturalists the greatest competitive advantage and that is investment in renewable energy,” Paul emphasised, adding that those in the sector should take advantage of the incentives that were currently available for renewable energy.

Paul also encouraged schools to take advantage of one of the competitions the BAS staged this year – The Schools Renewable Energy Competition. It aims to teach children how to conduct energy audits at home and at school.

“If we do not involve our young generation in terms of the concepts we will not succeed in passing on the very skills we need to succeed as a society. That energy audit competition is an exciting one because … [it helps children] to be more efficient in the use of energy,” Paul stated.

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