Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Weir calls for better standards in agriculture industry

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Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir is making an appeal to the operators of public and private farms to raise the standards of the industry.

He made this call this morning during a tour at Mount Pleasant Plantation in St Philip and Searles Plantation in Christ Church.

He was speaking in light of the recent placement of trailer facilities at both plantations, which are equipped with female and male bathrooms and an eating area.

“I am appalled that workers were asked to show up on a farm every day without having access to a bathroom . . . and when they had to answer the call of nature, they resorted to the bush. Going forward the standards should be so high that on every farm in Barbados you should have similar facilities; and I am calling for that today,” he said.
“I think this is a human call and the reality that any right thinking human being would want to make sure that they follow suit and provide these facilities to their workers as well.”
Weir said he was prepared to give support to private farms should they need facilitation of a similar programme or technical assistance.

Government invested about $450 000 to acquire ten mobile units that are solar powered, have sanitising stations, running water and solid waste removal systems for the field workers at the eight Barbados Agricultural Management Company plantations.
Since last week, plantations at Mount Pleasant, Searles and Rock Hall, St Peter each had one unit stationed on the premises.
Yesterday’s tour gave Barbados Workers’ Union officials, the minister and other agriculture officials, a chance to check in with workers to find out if they were pleased with the upgraded facilities as more than 20 years ago, shelter was provided to workers in the form of reconfigured buses.

Two transportation vehicles, with a capacity of 20 people, as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, have also been made accessible to workers and they are equipped with safety and weather requirements.

Workers said they were pleased about the upgrades. (SB)

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