Barbados could have a bumper production of

poultry and pork for Christmas, and while the Barbados

Agricultural Society is confident that, barring any

environmental phenomenon, grown provisions will be

just as plentiful, its chief spokesman says more can be

accomplished if business and farms share interests.

CEO James Paul told Barbados TODAY in a long

distance call this afternoon that at the moment all lights

were go, heading towards what is traditionally a busy

Christmas period for farmers.

“A lot is already geared towards the production

schedules, and I don’t see any problems. The farmers are

indicating that for the produce like pork and poultry that

just like last year there should be a bumper season. In fact

there should be an overabundance, but what we have to

look at is how Government will facilitate to ensure that

there is more cooperation by the businesses, etcetera, at

this time,” he stated.

As expected, Paul said, there were crops that would

be sensitive to the weather conditions and he only saw a

problem if there was unexpected rains or heat.

“We have always insisted that the farmers need greater

support, and we would like to see the formation of

partnerships that will help the farmers on a timely basis,”

he added.

One of the things, he reiterated the BAS was doing was

increased training of the farmers. But the training could

only work, he insisted, with a keen interest by consumers,

including businesses, to indicate if particular programmes

were working or needed to be further streamlined to

deliver what was needed.

He pointed to SuperCentre as an indication of the kind

of business/farmer relationship that was productive.

“They have been working with us, and one of the main

areas was with carrots; but I think we have reached the

point now where even that needs to be broadened. We

worked in concert with Dr Francis Chandler to ensure

they got the kind of consistency they needed to be able to

supply their chain, and I think that now needs to be higher;

and there are other products that I think we can work

with the business sector to develop.”

Part of the challenge, Paul stated, was that there were

some “private interests” who were not in the least

interested in buying local because it benefited their end of

the business to import. The BAS chief argued though that

there were ways in which those importers could work

with local farmers and still make just as much as they did

otherwise. Referring to is as a “back door link”, Paul said

what was needed was for processors and supermarkets all

to take an interest in farms, specifically.

Rather than the one-man operation of some small

farms, he noted that with companies and businesses

actually having an interest in the farms, both would benefit

and it would help ease both the issues of supply some

businesses complained of and help the farmers improve

and increase their production.

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