Local farmer raises red flags

A local farmer has raised red flags about the importation of inferior productions into Barbados, which he said will negatively impact the agriculture sector.

Timothy Walsh, owner of Nature’s Produce which is involved in sustainable agriculture, producing eggs, lettuce, tilapia, crayfish, and a range of fruits, has called on Government to intervene.

Chief among his concerns is the importation of fish products, which were “a bit questionable in quality”, from China, as well as imported lettuce which did not meet international standards.

Walsh expressed his concern to Minister of Commerce and Industry Donville Inniss during a tour of his St Peter property today.

Timothy Walsh, owner of Nature’s Produce speaking with Minister of Industry Donville Inniss (centre) and president of the BAS James Paul.
Timothy Walsh, owner of Nature’s Produce speaking with Minister of Industry Donville Inniss (centre) and president of the BAS James Paul.

“If you look at the tilapia it is a rapidly growing market in Barbados . . . yet you have stuff coming form China that is substandard and basically taking away what your market is,” said a visibly concerned Walsh.

He said while he was currently selling his fish to Massy Stores Supermarkets and Carlton Supermarkets, he was having a hard time getting fish into another supermarket that was importing its products from China.

“All of them don’t meet the minimum residue levels to go into Europe, America or Australia, yet we are accepting them here,” he said.

Vegetables, Walsh said, were also being imported into Barbados unnecessarily. He also singled out sweet peppers that he said were coming into the island because they were “rejects” from their country of origin.

“There [are many of] these products that we are having the same issue [with] and the local farmers are producing a fresher product and they are not getting access to the market.

“Everybody is telling the local farmers to produce but so many of the farmers cannot access the market in any form or fashion,” he lamented, adding that hotels were chief among those who only paid lip service to supporting local farmers.

Walsh told Inniss that while the problems were not new, they seemed to be getting worse.

In response, the minister said while it was the duty of the Government to create the right type of enabling environment, it could not force people to buy from any particular supplier.

However, he said based on the issues raised by Walsh, there was a need for inspectors at the port of entry and “various standards authorities” to “do better”.

“Certainly for state agencies that procure items I believe we ought to give priority to locally produced items as oppose to that which is imported,” Inniss added.

10 Responses to Local farmer raises red flags

  1. jr smith August 28, 2014 at 9:26 am

    This whole agriculture , set up ,begins to look very fishy. Farmers on the receiving of thieves, no one paying attention to them, bad produce being imported into Barbados ,also products which are produce in barbados seems not to be reaching the markets.
    What is needed is a public inquiry, what the hell is going on , this is smelling corruption.
    What is wrong with our people in barbados, who is running the place,we have lost, this ,that ,the bank, the sugar industry, almost the rum, now we are about to loose what agriculture is left.


  2. jr smith August 28, 2014 at 9:29 am


  3. Robert Foster
    Robert Foster August 28, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I wonder where Minister of Agro was at the time and what does he have to say about all this that has been in the news. but I am sorry forTim Walsh especially, and the other farmers suffering under grand theft of property and poor scrutiny at our posts of entry. When barbados entered the big boys’ WTO club this was bound to happen.

  4. Fraser Young
    Fraser Young August 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I vote for Tim to be minister of agriculture!!!! The current one is a joke and I would hazzard a guess that he hasn’t planted much this year. To lead one must first understand and Tim understands what’s needed better than anyone in Bim

  5. John-What Ever
    John-What Ever August 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    More people needed like this in Bim

  6. Meldina Smith
    Meldina Smith August 28, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Why are you guys importing food from China and eating tilapia, correct me if I am wrong but is that not pond fish, is there not enough fish in our waters.

  7. Simon Gooding
    Simon Gooding August 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Ha..with half of Buhbaydus sold out to the chinese …yall gine now see inferior products…

  8. Arther Lashley August 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Farming= Gambling
    Gambling = Ruin.
    IE, small gamblers ( so called farmers) plant cumbers when prices are 2 or 2.50$ a lb. So do all other Idiots (farmers =Gamblers) result in 6 or 7 weeks a glut. Price next to nothing.
    They then “Dun wid dat” and stop gambling(Growing) result a shortage
    Small farmers(gamblers) have no accounts. Pay NO tax.
    Cant add up what the crop has cost them over its growing period.
    Therefore price goods at unrealistic prices.

    The larger farmer(Gambler) has accounts and pays taxes.
    Keeps a realistic cost of what he grows.
    Cannot possibly keep up with the small farmer(gambler) in his “race to the bottom”
    nobody yet mentioned the Monkeys.
    I had a conversation , some years back with a specialist brought over from the states, to assess Barbados Monkey problem.
    Her impression was Barbados HOSTS around 90,000 monkeys.
    AND that was then.
    Monkeys are NOT news DO not VOTE and are therefore TOTALLY ignored by the politicians.
    Certain parts of this Island are impossible to plant ,with out almost total destruction of the crop by Monkeys.
    Then we get to the TWO legged upright Monkeys ,the thieves.
    Onions and sweet potatoes ,ready cash. easily stolen.
    Grow carrots and find you are in a position off being ,among as few WITH Carrots. Get a GOOD price,
    See how long it takes for carrots to arrive from Miami, courtesy of a couple of “big Ups” arranging matters.
    Yes I am sorry for this farmer,BUT; If you cant take the heat, what the HELL you start working in the Kitchen for.
    Because what you are complaining about is OLD NEWS.
    Redone ONE THOUSAND Times before.
    LOOK at the faces of the two Guys looking at the Redman.
    HE cant even vote in this country he tries to support by Farming.

    Well MR PM. ,MAYBE the 1st class round trip to SAMOA could wait,.
    Someone should strongly point out the old saying “CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME”

    None of we have a clue what you are going to sign,but we do know we are suffering “Tribble”

  9. Prince Nick
    Prince Nick August 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    All u all idiots talking about stop importing well we can’t we are a signatory to the World Trade Organization and hence why we have a open market.. Unless u all want us to be blacklisted and the little drizzle of investment stop fine let’s stop imports .

  10. Carib Digita
    Carib Digita August 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Praedial Larceny Squad launched
    By MIRANDA LA ROSE Tuesday, August 20 2013

    Food Production Minister, Devant Maharaj, has announced the establishment of five stations to help combat praedial larceny that will be manned initially by a Praedial Larceny Squad (PLS).

    The squad, comprising 76 members of the Special Reserve Police (SRP), was launched yesterday at a three-month induction training programme at the Prisons Training College, La Horquetta, Arima.

    The Squad consists of four sergeants, 12 corporals, and 60 constables.



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