by Linda Straker
- Major conference on agriculture planned for May
- Grenada plans increased production to fill void left by St Vincent
- Parents over the years have not encouraged enough children to select careers in agriculture
The Ministry of Agriculture is preparing to host a conference on agriculture, where challenges and solutions will be identified and discussed, not just among those working directly in the industry but by people whose job compliments those working directly in agriculture.
“Sometime in May, we are planning a major conference on agriculture where we are going to bring the farmers, we are going to bring our international partners, our regional partners…including suppliers,” Agriculture Minister Peter David announced during the weekly post-cabinet briefing on Wednesday.
David who was assigned the agriculture ministerial portfolio in October 2020 after serving in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for years, said that the agriculture sector is important to national development, but over the years that area received insufficient attention. “We need to come together as a nation and treat agriculture as a business…I agreed that we are not doing enough, but I also blame all of us.”
David pointed out that in terms of professions and careers parents over the years have not encouraged enough children to select careers in agriculture. “We as a nation must also treat agriculture as important. We must also see agriculture as a good investment. We must also see agriculture as where we can send our kids.” The minister’s son is involved in farming and livestock production.
Grenada, in the short and medium-term, is hoping to supply neighbouring territories with fresh produce as it embarks on a plan that will increase production to fill the void left by St Vincent. St Vincent is a major supplier of root crops and vegetables to neighbouring territories like Barbados and Trinidad but its agriculture sector has been decimated following the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.
David said that at present research is done to get a better idea as to what is in need in the market. The intention of the Ministry of Agriculture is to engage existing farmers with an incentive to increase production and reactivate some abandoned Government estates into heavy crop production.