OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Late crop will do us no good


Are we serious about agriculture, especially the sugar industry in Barbados?
I do not think so.
If it was so, why is it that the reaping of the 2014 sugar crop has not started and we are in the middle of March?
What is the reason for such a late start?
The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) had given us the assurance a few weeks ago that they were not standing in the way of the start of the harvest. Something or someone has to be responsible.
One does not have to be a scientist to know that Barbados has two “seasons” (if you can call them so) the wet and dry seasons, and the reaping of the sugar harvest should be done as close as possible to those dry months, and the harvest should have started in February.
Reaping of the harvest will likely be a big challenge this season for the officials in the sugar industry.
First of all, operating at one factory this year for the first time in our history will pose many problems for those who will be delivering the canes. For sure there will be many delays at the factory – Portvale.
I am sure that there will be some breakdowns at the factory from time to time, slowing down the reaping of the harvest.
Of course the weather is going to play a very important role in the harvest, but with such a late start, I am sure that the crop will run into the wet season. Let us hope that the weather will be kind to us.
I would like to appeal to Barbadians not to burn the canes because the country needs every piece of cane.
We need foreign exchange and sugar can still contribute to the economy – for every little is still a help – for we need it now more than ever. If we are going to take agriculture seriously, then we have to stop taking good agriculture land out of production.
The latest agricultural land to suffer the cut-up axe is that good agricultural land located in the area near the District “B” Police Station going to the east.
What a pity!


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