Category Archives: Agriculture

Loveridge: After unprecedented government concessions to Sandals, the company pays only lip service to Bajan agricultural suppliers.

Sandals' Butch Stewart doesn't look like he's starving to death.

Sandals’ Butch Stewart doesn’t look like he’s starving, but little of what he and his resort guests eat is Bajan.

“What must be clear to Government, is that after granting the unprecedented unilateral concessions to Sandals (which almost two years later not a single other hotel on Barbados has been able to obtain), Sandals must do more than give lip service to supporting our agricultural sector.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

First let me declare my absolute and total support for those advocating the use and consumption of more locally produced items especially by our tourism industry.

When the head of the Barbados Agricultural Society recently boasted that Sandals Barbados were purchasing 1,000 lbs of local produce each week, no-one thought to question him as to what this actually means. In all fairness to James Paul, he stated that they were trying to increase this amount, but let’s look at the current figures.

If the hotel is full that is a capacity of 580 guests each night who have every meal and snack included in the cost. This equates to a volume of just 4 ounces per person per day.

And that is before any allowance is made for the quoted 600 staff and management taking meals on the property.

The United States is currently the largest market for Sandals and the average American, according to internet informed information, is 36.6 years of age, is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 190 lbs if male, or 5 feet 4 inches and 164 lbs if female. Again based on averages each American consumes nearly 5.5 lbs of food per day or a short ton per annum.

Over a year this includes 29 lbs of French Fries, 23 lbs of pizza, 24 lbs of ice cream, 53 gallons of soda, 24 lbs of artificial sweetener and a staggering 2,736 lbs of sodium, which is 47 per cent above the recommended medical limit. All of which add up to 2,700 calories daily.

The question should also be asked, is the average Sandals guest likely to consume more or less than they do at home than on a fully all-inclusive vacation?

In reality then the 4 ounces of ‘local produce’ represents less than 4 per cent of consumables used daily, therefore a proverbial drop in the ocean. 
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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Cotton crop in danger as Barbados Government unable to pay pickers for last year’s work

Barbados picking cotton

Labour Action a result of no pay for a year

Contributed anonymously by Rotten Cotton

Our 2015 cotton crop is in danger of rotting in the fields as fewer than 10% of last year’s 150 registered cotton pickers are willing to work, and this year the crop is almost double the size of 2014.

The problem is that the Government of Barbados hasn’t been able to pay the pickers for the work they did a full year ago, picking the 2014 crop.

Guess what folks? You promise to pay agricultural workers a certain amount for each pound of cotton and you don’t pay them for a year… what happens is that nobody shows up to pick the next crop.

Got that Prime Minster Stuart?

It’s a simple and basic concept that this government hasn’t grasped I know. The government can put off paying suppliers, contractors and government employees when the money can’t be found, and those people will hang in waiting for the government to catch up on payments.

But you can’t do that to poor agricultural workers for a year or they walk and that is exactly what has happened.

“How bad is the financial situation really when the government puts the whole 2015 cotton crop at risk because they can’t pay workers their 40 cents a pound that has been owing to them for a year?”

The newspapers and television are full of cotton stories with politicians, Agricultural Ministry officials and industry spokespeople hyping the value to the economy and the doubling of fields planted over last year but hardly anyone is talking about the growing sense of danger – some say verging on panic – that is spreading throughout the cotton community.  Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Cotton, Economy

Kick Starter staff picks new project by Permaculture Research Institute of Barbados

by Lorraine Ciarallo

The Permaculture Research Institute (CPRI) of Barbados has been in the making since 2012 and I am proud to finally announce that our project has started.

A couple days ago CPRI launched its KickStarter crowdfunding video campaign which I would like to share with you. The purpose of our project is to set up a permaculture school in Barbados to teach, educate and demonstrate through the principles of permaculture how to grow food, repair landscapes & build community. Permaculture is a design science, inspired by nature and guided by ethics. Its purpose is to meet the needs of humanity while benefiting the environment. To this end, it empowers individuals, local communities and the larger public to build sustainable & environmentally friendly:

  • Food and Land Systems
  • Social and community systems
  • Shelter and home systems
  • Livelihood and business systems

I hope you will take the time to watch the video. If this campaign is successful, it will help ensure the life of this project, a project which I am committed to for the next 3 years. It is super exciting for me to share it with you and I hope, you find it exciting too!  Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Energy, Environment

Aquaponics makes farming profitable and productive

Barbados aquaponics

by Damian Hinkson

If farming were easy we would all be doing it! After all, food is our most basic need.

So it stands to reason that farming should be profitable, however that’s not the case. I will explain why using the three points below and then provide one solution to make farming profitable in Barbados.

First point is that we need to take a look at the big picture. If it was an equation farming would equal (carbon/nitrogen) + photosynthesis = calories. Each of the 3 parts requires energy inputs to bring the product to point of consumption.

Second, the source of all energy on earth is the sun and the general rule is; the quicker it can be harvested the more sustainable it is, while the longer it is stored the more harmful it becomes. (eg: hours from solar panels vs. thousands of years from oil/gasoline.)

The last point and the only one under man’s control is; control the energy and you control civilization. Unfortunately older type, harmful energy is easier to control therefore it is the type of energy our current civilization is built upon. Continue reading

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Why no solution on the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary?

Barbados Graeme Hall Sluice Gate (click photo for large)

Deliberate destruction of a RAMSAR Treaty natural wetlands

The last mangrove swamp in Barbados is being deliberately destroyed by the Barbados government – so that private interests (read ‘friends of the ruling party’) can benefit financially by squeezing out the foreign philanthropist / owner and then developing the area into condominiums and industrial parks. This is not an unheard of scenario in Barbados, especially with agricultural lands and natural / scrub / coastal areas. It also is common for landowners to spend decades trying to re-classify agricultural and other natural lands for development, only to be refused time and time again.

Then some person will come along and offer just a little bit over the agricultural value and the discouraged and beaten owner will sell. A few weeks later, the land is approved for development and quickly resold for a hundred times what was paid. That is the real Barbados!

The only problem with the Graeme Hall swamp is that the owner, a Canadian philanthropist named Peter Allard, doesn’t want to develop the area: he wants to preserve this precious natural resource for the Bajan people. Earlier Allard volunteered to have the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary incorporated into a National Park. That didn’t work out when the greedy hands of career politicians wanted their cut or NO DEAL! Now that political elite is determined to have it all.

It might take more twenty more years for the cabals to get hold of what is probably the most valuable land on the south coast, but the elites think in generations and they know that there are other foreign chickens to pluck until that time arrives. The elites own the courts and the government, so they have plenty of time.  Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Wildlife

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs): Threat or salvation?

Hello BFP, Green Monkey here. You might find of interest the following article from Prison Planet:

GMOs could cause ‘irreversible termination of life’ on Earth, risk expert warns…

When discussing the issues surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — that is, organisms bearing the genetic traits of other species or bacteria — the focus is typically on how safe (or unsafe) these novel, food-like products are for humans. But distinguished risk engineer and two-time best-selling author Nassim Taleb thinks an even bigger problem with GMOs is their threat to the planet, and the statistical likelihood that they will eventually lead to the collapse of life on Earth.

In a new study, which is still in draft form, this professor of risk engineering from New York University uses statistical analysis to make the case that GMOs, by their very nature, will disrupt the ecosystems of this planet in ways that mankind is only just beginning to comprehend. Because they represent a systemic risk rather than a localized one — GM traits are known to spread unconstrained throughout the environment — GMOs will eventually breach the so-called “ecocide barrier,” leading to catastrophic ecosystem failure.

“There are mathematical limitations to predictability in a complex system, ‘in the wild,’ which is why focusing on the difference between local (or isolated) and systemic threats is a central aspect of our warnings,” Taleb is quoted as saying by Fool.com, noting that it’s essentially impossible to contain the inevitable spread of GMO traits far and wide.

“The [precautionary principle] is not there to make life comfortable, rather to avoid a certain class of what is called in probability and insurance ‘ruin’ problems,” write Taleb and his colleagues in their paper. “For nature, the ‘ruin’ is ecocide: an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.”

GMOs are not ‘scientific,’ and nearly every argument used in their defense is flawed…   Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Science

Shocker: Frozen Taiwan Mahi-Mahi sold as fresh Barbados dolphin!

UPDATED: Importer to Barbados is… (drum roll please)…

Yinnex Co.
Taiwan 3 shipments total Has verified third-party data
2 shipments match west indies
…Stowed In A Refrigerated Set At The Of 25 Also Morgans Fish House Inc. 7 Gibbons Industrial Park, Barbados West Indies

Attn: Mr. Jonathan Morgan (link here)

Barbados Fish Market Mahi Mahi

We used to have to explain Bajan Dolphin to visitors. “It isn’t flipper but a fish known elsewhere as mahi mahi”.

Now even Bajans may need some explanations. As this recent photo taken at the Bridgetown Fishing Complex shows, your “fresh Bajan Dolphin” may well be defrosted Taiwanese Mahi Mahi!

How can this be? The answer is that it is easier and cheaper to import fish from the other side of the world, rather than to pay local fisher folk fair value.

Wary Bajan Fish Eater

Barbados Taiwan Dolphin (click photo for large)

Thanks to an old friend!

And from another old friend, we received this:

Yinnex Co. 17TH FL, 129 FU HSING SOUTH ROAD, SECTION 1 TAIPEI,TAIWAN S/O:1111

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Consumer Issues