What happen to the two third vote needed for change of land usage?
This left left a bitter taste in my mouth for the Minister of Agriculture who behaves like the Deputy Minister of Housing. Mr Benn, you totally disrespected Dr. Chandler yesterday in the senate and you know what I am talking about. Dr. Chandler’s heart is in agriculture and she is Barbadian and has a right to be concerned about the lost of arable land to housing. Parliamentary privilege can be used to attack me, a concerned citizen, if you wish!
Letter from Dr. Frances Chandler to Senator Haynesley Benn
Having heard the comments during yesterday’s debate made by you , Senator McClean (it is unlikely that this land would be used for agriculture) and Senator Ince (these two parcels are not viable agricultural land) regarding the Brighton land being acquired by government, I feel obliged to clarify the matter, since in my opinion, the impression has been given that I have presented inaccurate information.
These two plots of land being acquired are portions of fields that have been in agriculture for centuries. I have attached photographs of the two fields where the strips are being acquired.
For your further information, Brighton was initially approached regarding the acquisition of part of a field near the plantation yard which was irrigable and used for vegetable production. Bearing in mind government’s thrust to produce more food, Brighton lodged an objection which was accepted, and government then requested these two plots, which the plantation agreed to, albeit under duress. Brighton, in my opinion, is one of the best (if not the best) managed and most efficient producers of sugarcane and vegetables in the island.
The most westerly plot (photograph 001 above) is a 1.85 acre portion of a 14 acre field called “Barrows”. In 2006, the plant cane in this field yielded 33 tons/acre. In 2009, as a 4th ratoon it was ploughed out, and the field (apart from the 1.85 acres which government informed would be acquired) was replanted in cane in October 2009. In the photograph above, the plant cane cane be seen on the left and the strip which has been left fallow after the notice of the acquisition is at right.
The more easterly plot is a 1.93 acre portion (photograph 004 above) of an 8 acre field called “Upper Montrose”. This field was planted in cane in 2007 and the first crop gave 35 tons/acre when reaped in 2009. It was badly affected by the severe drought in 2009 and gave 21 tons/acre when reaped this year (below the estimated 26 tons/acre). The ratoon crop presently in the field is progressing well, and will be reaped in 2011.
I trust that you now have a better understanding of the plots being acquired. Is it possible that your officers took you to the wrong location?