Incompetence has become the norm for the ULP regime throughout their time in office.
The highly incompetent ULP regime has made a mess of the agriculture industry and virtually killed the rural economy. Many of our farmers live in poverty and struggle to feed their families.
For some farmers, when they come to Kingstown on Fridays, they’d be lucky to make 30 dollars profit from the goods they sell. This is not enough to sustain their households and pay the bills. There is often a lot of food at the market, but farmers cannot get much sale as there is not much money circulating in our country.
To add insult to injury, food imports into SVG amount to around $250 million annually. This $250 million should be going into the pockets of SVG farmers. The fact that this money is going abroad means jobs are being created abroad at the expense of our farmers.
This approach to economics is making our people suffer and making food more expensive in SVG.
Buying food from our own farmers would make food cheaper. SVG can only reduce food prices by eating what we grow and growing what we eat, coupled with a policy of import substitution. If a lot of food comes from abroad, we will not be able to control food prices and food will become even more expensive.
According to Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, a Green Government would bring back the Marketing Corporation and this would assure farmers a guaranteed income. This would enable SVG to have more control over food prices and make it more affordable for poorer households.
The ULP regime has failed to find foreign markets for farmers’ produce. With a Marketing Corporation SVG would be better positioned to find foreign markets for the agricultural produce that is in excess of the needs of the people of SVG.
With a Marketing Corporation, SVG would have the credibility to gain access to local and foreign agricultural markets, because a Marketing Corporation would be better placed to guarantee a constant, regular supply of agricultural products.
A fully operational and modern Marketing Corporation could create diverse streams of income for our farmers and boost the rural economy. The agricultural industry and the rural economy need a boost, because at present SVG is swamped with high poverty, high unemployment, high crime and there is little money circulating in our weak economy.
According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Mr Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons.), MSc, MBA, SVG needs a change of government which can rejuvenate the agricultural industry and find new foreign markets via a revived Marketing Corporation. Exporting excess food grown in SVG will help bring revenue into SVG.
Having a Marketing Corporation would reduce the need to import $250 million of food a year and put more money into the pockets of SVG farmers. It would help to keep more money in SVG and increase the amount of money circulating our country.
SVG farmers need a guaranteed income for their produce.