Economy will rebound
According to St. Michael North candidate Francis DePeiza, that is exactly what they were trying to do with the launch of their manifesto – set out how Barbados will afford the standard of living to which it has become accustomed.
Speaking on his platform launched in Eden Lodge last night, the attorney-at-law outlined some of his achievements in the constituency, despite not being the elected candidate.
He said he had worked with community groups, sporting clubs, helped with road problems, among other things, while pointing to policies and practices of the Barbados Labour Party he clained would lead to privatisation and eventually the IMF.
“That is how they do business … and this is how we do business. The Democratic Labour Party [Friday night] launched its promise and pledge about how we will be able to afford the standard of living to which we have grown accustomed and it has some very important elements that will resonate well with you here in St. Michael North.
“We are looking to create here a Barbados, a new economy, a more resilient economy, one that we will be able to stand a little more securely in Barbados amidst all external shocks. And how will we do it? Our plans speak to how we will be dealing with an economy that invests in our people. We don’t have any iron ore, gold, diamonds, minerals, oil. We are speculating on only one thing and that is the brain matter between the ears of our people.
“We understand if we invest in you, you will become more productive citizens. You will be satisfied to invest in yourselves, open your doors and invite your friends and neighbours in, save some money for yourselves, make some money for your families,” he stated, adding that this was being created through education.
The party had taken the Errol Barrow legacy “to the cusp of great excellence” by taking education and using it for advancement.
He said he had been working with the Minister of Agriculture to assist those interested in that field, to get properties that were lying dormant while vested in the Barbados Agricultural Credit Trust.
“The BACT stands vested today with 236 acres-plus of land, the sale of which will realise a pool of resources for research and development in agriculture and that has more meaning for you here in this constituency.”
He said there were plans to bring more meaning to agriculture, where those with degrees in agricultural science could help to earn foreign exchange for the country.
Using cassava as an example, he asked the crowd to imagine how it could be turned into a high yielding export product through research and development, to use the flour from that root to create pasta and other dishes ready for overseas markets.
As well, he said, links could be created with tourism, if chefs were trained to incorporate such products into their meals, thereby helping visitors to acquire the taste for items they could then import from Barbados.
“You have created an export sector,” DePeiza said. “Imagine that that same cassava, how the fibrous root could be a substitute for the feeds we don’t have to bring in – the barley, the oats to feed the horses, sheep, cows. Then think how that saves you foreign exchange and how exports generate foreign exchange; then understand how without having to rely solely on tourism, you are now able to diversify the economy, insulate yourselves against external shocks.” (LB)