‘Take agriculture sector seriously’ says Andre Worrell

Spokesperson for Agriculture and the Environment for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Andre Worrell, has supplicated the current government to take agriculture seriously.

'Take agriculture sector seriously' says Andre Worrell
'Take agriculture sector seriously' says Andre Worrell

Barbados: Spokesperson for Agriculture and the Environment for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Andre Worrell, has supplicated the current government to take agriculture seriously.

In reference to the recent review of the Barbados Economy for 2020 by the Central Bank of Barbados, saying that it produced an excellent backdrop to look at the flexibility and viability of the agriculture sector, Worrell made this statement, which was released yesterday.

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Furthermore, Andre Worrell added, “Unlike the other product areas, the agricultural sector has stood up against lethal coronavirus.”

The Barbados economy decreased by 18%, and the Agriculture Sector was the only one that confirmed modest growth of 1.9%. If the industry (agriculture) was implemented with the level of subsidies made available to the Tourism Sector by the BEST plan, the level of growth could have been much more outstanding,” stated Worrell.

The DLP representative mentioned that the current objectives outlined by the Ministry of Agriculture introduced the FEED (Farmers Empowerment and Enfranchisement Drive) plans, value-added products from cotton, the black-belly sheep production (cheese, yogurts, soaps, high-end leather products), and therapeutic cannabis.

According to Worrell, the allocated funds of the current Government to the Ministry of Agriculture were $45.2 million in 2019-2020 and $53.3 million for 2020-2021. The FEED Program was designated $2 million in 2019-2020, but only $500,000 for the current year 2020-2021.

The spokesperson also declared that when comparing GDP by sector in 2020, the participation of the Tourism Sector was $413.2 million, Agriculture $115.9 million, Sugar Sector $4.2 million, and Non-sugar $111.7 million.

“Imagine how much more the division would have grown in 2020 if farmers had admittance to just 10% of the $300m made available to tourism via the BEST program. The data is clear; the time to give agriculture the consideration it deserves is now,” said Andre Worrell.

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