Thursday 17 October, 2019

Food shortage a real threat for Barbados

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has issued a stark warning to Barbadians to change the way they eat in light of the potential threat of food security facing the country and the wider region.

Last week, PM Mottley gave a stern warning to world leaders to curb the effects of climate change, noting the Caribbean is the region especially at risk to adverse weather conditions.

On Wednesday, she told attendees at the Barbados Sustainable Energy Conference 2019 - Roadmap to 2030 that the country needs a secure food supply, particularly during the hurricane season. 

“A lot of the things that we eat are destroying the atmosphere and … we need to be conscious that in the middle of the hurricane season, our food supply can be disrupted.”

The PM said the vulnerability of the region to food shortages cannot be ignored, considering most of the foods people consume are imported from North America.

“Our farmers here legitimately tell me ‘you cant ask me to make sure that we have food supply during the hurricane season and the rest of the months of the year, I can’t make any money because of the importing of goods that kill us’.”

The time has come to translate high policy into local action and resilience.

She added: "What we need now is a policy matrix that allows us to be able to protect certain goods on the basis of food security. When World War Two hit, the government passed legislation requiring every plantation to plant twelve and half percent of their lands in food crops because we knew that with a war, the supply of food was at risk.”

Mottley said it was imperative that all Barbadians and businesses “join the battle” in building a Barbados that is more resilient to the effects of climate change.

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