Gov’t MP against Chinese project

Government’s plans to establish a Chinese-funded project at the Hope Plantation in St Lucy is being met with stiff opposition from livestock farmers in the north, who complain the project would cause irreparable damage to the industry.

And they have the support of Government backbencher and Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul.

BAS CEO James Paul (left) and other executive members during today’s tour.
BAS CEO James Paul (left) and other executive members during today’s tour.

The BAS boss and other members of the executive body today visited the plantation for an assessment of the possible damage if the Freundel Stuart administration proceeds with the plans to set up an agricultural school for students of the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic on 45 acres of land.

Noting that there were plans in place to establish an agro-business plant at the Hope Plantation, Paul warned that Government should not be duplicating projects or competing with the private sector.

Dairy farmer McDonald Stevenson, who has been cultivating the grassland for the past ten years, said he stood to lose the most.

“I am concerned as a livestock farmer who produces milk for the Pine Hill Dairy. I have been cultivating the grass and reaping the grass at the Hope Plantation for the past ten years. It is a source of fodder for my animals and other livestock farmers across the island,” he said.

Parts of the estate are covered with grass, which Stevenson said was food for the farm animals.

“It is a crop which has to be grown like any other crop. Like any other crop fertilizers have to be applied to get the nutritional levels up to a certain standard to feed the livestock. It is a science.

“What I have been doing is using the manure from the cattle to fertilize the grass. These are the inputs I use to grow a crop of grass. When the rain comes you want the grass to grow quickly and have a certain nutritional value so that you can feed your animals,” Stevenson explained.

The dairy farmer told Barbados TODAY that during the dry season and especially at this time when the island was experiencing drought conditions, farmers travelled to the plantation from as far away as Christ Church to access fodder for their animals.

6 Responses to Gov’t MP against Chinese project

  1. jrsmith April 1, 2016 at 5:52 am

    One thing about bajan politicians ,if you want anything destroyed they are the people up for it , they have no clue , they suppose to be paying consultants for what, yet everything is controversial which is under taken by them..

  2. Tony Webster April 1, 2016 at 11:35 am

    It is also just possible, that if our Friends From The East said that they wished to do this project, that the Irrelevant Minister would have merely “know-towed”… so as to avoid offending these generous folks…from continuing with a larger project …somewhere else in Bim?

    My late father once cautioned me, “Be careful how and where you make your bed…as you shall have to sleep in it”

  3. Leigh April 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    But how can this farmer be upset about losing fodder he was growing on someone else’s land…. it doesn’t belong to him so how can he be so bold.

    • Carson C Cadogan April 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      I thought that I was the only who noticed that.

      The Govt. needs to press on with the project.

      • Donild Trimp April 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm

        Was wondering the same thing.

        A few weeks back a lady complained she could not water from the stand-pipe to run her business.

        Barbadians seem to want everything for free.

  4. Richard Johnston April 1, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I do believe Eddie Edghilll offered land in St. Thomas to Duke University for an agricultural station. What was wrong with that? What can possibly be the Chinese interest in such a project?


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