Tuesday 21 May, 2019

Farmers training in new technology while global threat looms

Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural (BAS), Society James Paul.

Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural (BAS), Society James Paul.

Caribbean Governments should not sign on to agreements that do not protect various sectors.

That is the assertion of Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural (BAS) Society James Paul.

Paul said that the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe are both hurting the local sector. He states that these organizations have constrained the ability of governments to protect sectors that are vulnerable.

Using the United States of America as an example, he said that while they signed onto the WTO, they ensured that their agricultural sector was protected:

“The Europeans did the same thing and protected their agricultural sector. The Japanese also protected their rice industry."

He believes that the agreements should be renegotiated, as they are not functional for the Caribbean.

Paul was speaking to the media yesterday where he disclosed that the BAS has received funding to the tune of $ 200 000 the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, to help farmers increase production through the use of modern technologies.

Small famers including women he added, will undertake a seven-month training programme, which should culminate by year end.

Mr Paul says small-scale famers increase in Barbados and are not able to attract the resources needed to make their operations viable since it appears to be a policy preference in the country favouring the tourism and offshore sectors ahead of the agricultural sector.

“The project will facilitate a system for the integration of small producers, including women and youth entering business, into the marketing arrangements for the supply of products,” he said.

The training will be delivered in an in a more farm centred environment and is designed to attain maximum participation on the part of farmers.

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