‘Victimized’

BADMC accused of cherry-picking farmers to evict

St Lucy farmer Roger Seliciano is crying victimization over a decision by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) to evict him from the Land for the Landless programme.

The Government initiative provides arable land through lease or licence arrangements to bona fide farmers who otherwise would not have been able to access land.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY this week, Seliciano, who has been part of the Spring Hall Land Lease project since 1994, said BADMC had sent him notice of eviction after having suffered injuries in two car accidents, as well as a stroke, which prevented him from working the plot leased to him.

As part of the conditions of the lease, farmers are not allowed to sublet plots and must be up to date with their rent.

However, Seliciano explained that given his health issues, he opted to allow another farmer to till the land until he made a full recovery.

“First in July [last year] when I received a letter to quit, I was accused of subletting the land and I was not subletting any land. What has happened because of illness and two vehicular accidents and a stroke, I was unable to proceed with working the land. I asked the farmer next door to assist me so that I would not lose the plot. Previously I had five acres but two were taken away and given to another farmer and upon giving him the land I was told that if I did not farm the land adequately I was going to lose the entire plot,” Seliciano said.

The incensed farmer revealed that even though he was asked to vacate the land back in July, it did not prevent the BADMC from continuing to bill him for the remaining acreage.

However, despite making all the requisite payments for the farm, on January 17 he received written notification from BADMC that he would be losing the remaining property.

To add insult to his injury, Seliciano claimed that even before receiving the official notice, “another farmer bragged” that he was getting the lands.

“The lands were not abandoned because the land just reaped watermelons and that is a three months crop. Yet they could claim that the land was abandoned. Right now it has pumpkin on it which is going to be ready for picking in two months’ time,” he added.

Seliciano accused BADMC of cherry-picking farmers to evict, and he claimed that there were several other farmers who had run afoul of the project stipulations but were yet to be subjected to any punitive action from the corporation.

“There are many farmers down there who have land which was not being worked, but yet I was the only person that got my land cut up and leased to someone else. There is another farmer down there and he has the land here but lives in England and he has other people working the land for him. However they have never cut his property,” he contended.

Barbados TODAY attempted to reach Chief Executive Officer of the BADMC Shawn Tudor for a comment. While Tudor did not speak with the publication his office promised to investigate the allegations and determine if a response was warranted at a later date.

colvillemounsey@barbadostoday.bb

7 Responses to ‘Victimized’

  1. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn February 18, 2017 at 4:18 am

    JUST LAST WEEK MR STEVEN LASHLEY THE MINISTER OF SPORTS WAS SAYING EVEN ONE SHOULD PLANT MORE FOOD. NOW YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS MAN LIVELIHOOD.

    Reply
  2. seagul February 18, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Water Saving Low cost Greenhouse/wood-house Farming.
    My wish through media action is to transform lives to a future of healthy sustainable living….. t.griffith@bluewin.ch

    Reply
  3. Greengiant February 18, 2017 at 9:19 am

    If this man’s response to this eviction is all truth, then this is what is known as institutional or internal corruption. Now there’s no politician involved in this, it’s simply statutory employees taking advantage of a contractor who is recovering from illness.

    Maybe he never communicated his situation with the agent, maybe the other contractor who now resides abroad has an arrangement with the agent. However, this man’s payments are current so notice to terminate even by contract can be tricky here. He needs to get a legal injunction through an attorney while seeking legal redress. This is hard on him, I’ve been through the same situation here in this country while recovering from major illness. Some technocrats try to take advantage of you if you are not well educated and capable of representing yourself.

    Reply
    • Peter February 18, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Greengiant. You have some very strong points there But. Let me tell you and not remind you that EVERY THING IN BARBADOS NREVOLVES AROUND POLITICS. I suspect that this farmer was checked out and was discovered to be on an opposing political fence. This is the kind of vindictive behavior that is inherent in both DEMs and B’s. It is most forceful when the ruling party is in power. Roger Seliciano, you can either Go straight to George Street and pay for and get a DEM card, and then make a donation to Kellman’s party branch then one to James Paul’s Constituency Branch. All will be forgiven and forgotten. A lawyer will cost much more. In order to win the game you have got to play the game. Do what Neil Diamond said in his song…… ” You are the sun, I am the moon, You are the words, I am the tune…..PLAY ME…. Good luck brother.

      Reply
  4. jrsmith February 18, 2017 at 10:08 am

    This is how the childish behaviour carry on in barbados , especially from anyone involving the government, still the rum shop mentality……….. Its always people who supposed to be management being fitted in the wrong job and when anything goes wrong they run and hide , because they dont know how to handle the case file if there s is one……..

    Reply
  5. Sheron Inniss February 18, 2017 at 10:48 am

    If he is being truthful God is going to fix them. Have not been in the area lately but there were lots of idle land. Why take his? He did the hard work now this. It is a good thing these other people do not get sick. Place all your cares at God’s feet.

    Reply
  6. F.A.Rudder February 21, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Maybe this farmer could go the constitutional way of acquiring a special power of attorney and submitting it to the sublet to produce to the BADMC

    Reply

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