The Barbados Agricultural Society has recommended an import ban for certain produce. This should reduce the island’s $700 million food import bill by at least $2 million. According to Chief Executive Officer James Paul, farmers have the capacity to satisfy local demand for pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, and carrots. He claimed that the importation of those fruits and vegetables was undermining the industry.
Paul added that it made no sense to ask farmers to ramp up production to boost the country’s food security when imports were still saturating the local market and forcing farmers to sell their products way below market price. That, he said, was a demonstration of disrespect to farmers who toiled to support their families and provide nutritious food for Barbadians.
One of Paul’s other recommendations was for national planting coordination so authorities could have an idea of what crops were being produced and how much of those crops were planted.