None So Blind As Those That Cannot See
May 3, 2008 Leave a comment
As we took a look around the blogsphere we came across two interesting blogs on the issue of food crisis here in the Caribbean.
But first we have to ask a few questions. Is telling your citizens that there is no food crisis a way to avoid panic amongst the population hoping that the current global food crisis would go away? Or is it better to inform your citizens that there is indeed a looming food crisis on hand in terms of a food shortage, prepare them for the worse and protect them people as best as you can?
Caribbean people are not stupid. They read, watch and listen just like everyone else. They are very much aware of what is happening in the outside world. The riots, the protests, the hoarding of certain staples, the reduce exports of basic commodities like rice are telling us that they are indeed a food crisis and even if it has not reach our Caribbean shores as yet it will sooner or later as the Caricom depends heavily on its food imports.
For instance, over at Abeni’s blog ‘And Still I Rise’, he reports that the St Vincent government said that ” there is no food crisis on our shores”. Whilst one commenter “find this [statement] somewhat odd and extremely strange.”
He notes “…………with respect to increased and inflated food prices [this] is rather interesting if not ludicrous and irresponsible.
Then there is Trinidad & Tobago which last week could not agreed on the whether there is or is not a food crisis in that country!
Jyoti Communication writes “Agricultural Minister Arnold Piggot says Trinidad and Tobago is not facing a food crisis.”
“I wouldn’t like us to say that we have a crisis in food in Trinidad & Tobago because I don’t know that we do. I am not aware that we have a crisis at this time,” he added.
Guess what? His cabinet colleague sang a different tune last week. Consumer Affairs Minister Peter Taylor “encourage consumers to change their eating habits and start planting home gardens to survive the worsening food crisis.
Now you can see the confusion. One Minister says there is a food crisis and another says there isn’t none. Well which one is it? The Prime Minister came in the save the day. This week Patrick Manning acknowledged a food crisis in that country with the announce of that “the government has already created 7,000 news farms………….where food production has started.”
So let us put this in a nutshell. The Consumer Minister knows more of a “worsening food crisis” than the Agricultural Minister who has responsible for the food security in that country!!!?. If that de bout hay somebody de gine holler early elecshuns!!!.
Thank God for Haynesley Benn. The Agricultural Minster seems to have his feet on solid ground. He has already ask farmers to gear up for the 2009 onions crop season, doing all within his power to protect local farmers that an “all hands on deck” approach was necessary if Barbados was to achieve food sovereignty — “which speaks to our ability, not only to feed ourselves, but to produce the food with which to do so.”
The Minister who grew up with agriculture in his bones is keen on improving Barbados food security unlike the previous government who answer to the spiralling food costs was to introduced a basket of 9 goods with subsidies pricing without a fruit or vegetable in it.
With a $1/2b food bill hanging over our heads I believe we can do without the brussels sprouts, [roasted] corn and some of the imported frozen products that are already old by the time they get here to name a few.