Sunday, April 21, 2024

‘Still working’ on subsidy for dairy farmers


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It appears that the subsidy long promised to dairy farmers may not materialise soon.

During a national press conference last Friday, Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir said the subsidy was not finalised as there was work behind the scenes still to be ironed out.

“We are still in the process of discussing whether or not there would be a cess. There are several things that we need to take into consideration and the Chief Agricultural Officer has been working with Pine Hill Dairy and dairy farmers to come up with a mechanism that would support the dairy farmers,” Weir said.

“Will it be a cess? We don’t know yet. This is still a conversation we have to have because a cess would impact a number of things that we are trying to protect. We want to make sure that we get it right . . . we want a synergy that works.

“We do realise PHD could be considered a monopoly because they are the only producer of dairy products in Barbados and we recognise that dairy farmers are heavily dependent on them.”

Chief Agricultural Officer, Keeley Holder, added that the stakeholders in the industry met about three weeks ago and the ministry was preparing information for Cabinet approval but legal factors had slowed down the process.

In the Budgetary Proposals of June 2015, under the last administration, a dairy subsidy was announced, it was supposed to work in coordination with the importation of heifers the following year. (SB)




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