Tag Archives: United Nations

World Food Day is No Food Day for a billion hungry people

Agriculture Rule #1: Cultivation of Marijuana pays well. Growing food does not…

by Peter Webster

October 16, 2011 designated as “World Food day” has come and gone – or has it?

For too many of the billion hungry people the world over, most days are “no food day”. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) promoted the theme “Food Prices – From Crisis to Stability” to highlight a worldwide trend that is “hurting the poor consumer, the small producer and agriculture in general” because “food prices which were stable for decades have become increasingly volatile”. They concluded that “controlling prices was key to the fight against hunger”.

FAO further lamented that “Agriculture cannot respond fast enough with increased food production because of long-term under-investment in research, technology, equipment and infrastructure”.

The statement by the FAO Director General, Dr. Jacques Diouf, leaves several unanswered questions:

Why did FAO emphasize the volatility or fluctuation of food prices and not the fact that the prices were higher although fluctuating? How do higher prices hurt producers and agriculture in general? Why does FAO concern itself with the hungry? Since when are the interests of food producers the same as those of consumers? Could the high price of energy be a contributing factor to high food prices? Why is there under-investment in agriculture?

It is unfortunate that the FAO statement does not distinguish between the food producers and distributors.

Promoting more investment in agriculture is like “pushing rope” since it deals with an effect and not the cause!

Food producers around the world have repeatedly increased their production when they are adequately rewarded for their investment. Our experience in Barbados supports this.

When our government in 1971 taxed all of the nasty profits out of our highly efficient sugar industry (over $50 million between 1974 and 1981) the result was dwindling capital investment in the industry with productivity falling by 50% from a high of over ten tonnes of sugar per hectare to the five tonnes per hectare currently being achieved.

Our people supposedly abhor agriculture but several are reputed to be cultivating marijuana in discreet nooks and crannies around the island despite the risk of imprisonment.

Why are they not growing sweet potatoes and yams? Could it be that cultivation of the latter is not lucrative enough?

We need to stop expecting the food producers to feed the poor and hungry – this is society’s responsibility not the food producers who are trying to earn a living! Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Human Rights

Elizabeth Thompson: Delivering the bull, putting on the beef

Former Barbados Environment Minister delivers a heavy lecture

contributed by “Buckra Johnny”

Former BLP Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson was in town the other day warning Barbados that environmental issues are important to the economy and to our quality of life. Liz was shaking her finger at Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean saying that we must have “sustainable development”. (Nation: Habitat warning from Liz)

I know what you’re thinking…

That’s really some lecture from the same Elizabeth Thompson who as Environment Minister couldn’t be bothered to introduce an Environmental Protection Act during the 14 years that her party formed a majority government.

“Yes, it’s that same Liz Thompson who, as part of the BLP Arthur government, walled off the West Coast with an ejaculation of half-built, unsold ugly condos that astonished even the most corrupt profiteers and environment wreckers.”

Fuh true, it was also Liz Thompson who gave her stamp of approval to groynes that destroyed Mullins Bay beaches.

That Liz Thompson

This is the same Liz Thompson who let Shell Oil get away with dumping millions of liters of jet fuel into the water table because in Barbados we don’t have a basic law that requires pipeline operators to measure what goes in and what comes out the other end to monitor for leakage. We have no law that compels pipeline owners like Shell to even REPORT a massive spill.

Illustration of the full text of Liz Thompson's speech

Thanks, Liz!

Elizabeth Thompson spent and wasted over a hundred million dollars trying to build a landfill on unstable Scotland district soil – though she was warned again and again that it was folly and would be an environmental disaster. Liz Thompson’s cherished Greenland Dump would also have been the first major dump anywhere to be located in a National Park. Now that would have been “sustainable development”!

Elizabeth Thompson couldn’t debate the Greenland Dump without going into a racist rant against white people. Racist Liz probably mentored racist Gline Clarke.

But even a good verbal barb or public humiliation of a white environmentalist like Richard Goddard couldn’t change reality for Liz Thompson. Reality was delivered a few days ago by current Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe, who said,

“Geo-technical studies (show) a continuous movement of the soil which makes it absolutely dangerous to store landfill at that site,”

Yup, just like Richard Goddard told Elizabeth Thompson a decade ago on CBC television when the only response she could come back with was a racist statement…

“I take extreme offense at a Caucasian male telling me, as a Minister of Government in modern Barbados, that he is going to treaten to embarrass a national government in this way. It is completely unacceptable…”

… BLP government Minister Elizabeth Thompson explains why building a dump on the shifting soil of Greenland is an environmentally sound decision.

George Payne, BLP Member of Parliament for St. Andrew, described putting a dump in Greenland as “environmental madness”. Payne is black so Lord knows why Liz didn’t listen to him even if she was prejudiced against Caucasians.

And then there is Liz Thompson’s role in the ongoing destruction of the last major mangrove forest in Barbados.

That’s quite a record…    “BUT WAIT… THERE’S MORE!!!”

Elizabeth Thompson and her BLP were the government for 14 years and they couldn’t be bothered to make even the simplest environmental law to control the use of poisons, pesticides, chemicals and known carcinogens.

Under Liz Thompson and her BLP government, the Environment Ministry didn’t lay a single environmental charge in 14 years. (Thanks, Liz – thanks for nothing.)

Putting on the Beef!

Elizabeth Thompson spread the B.S. pretty thick during her lecture at the 21st biennial conference of Soroptimist International of the Caribbean Network at Accra Beach Hotel. Yes sir, that bull dung was flying everywhere and she looked soooooo sincere! (Like the man said, “Sincerity? Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made!”)

But Liz Thompson didn’t just deliver the BULL, she really put on the BEEF too! Life must be pretty good in New York working for the United Nations.

Barbados Sustainable Development: Image and Reality

As the “United Nations assistant secretary-general and executive coordinator of the secretariat for the UN’s Conference on Sustainable Development” Liz must be attending some fine parties and conferences where the pate and champagne flow like, well, pate and champagne at the United Nations.

Wow! I don’t know how many stone she is now, but Liz used to be not a bad looking woman at one time. Well, there’s just a lot more of her to love, but I don’t know how “sustainable” this can be in terms of health. I mean, she’s making Mia look like PlayBoy material.

That’s the update on Elizabeth Thompson’s recent visit to Barbados. Shur ‘nuf talk ’bout that for now!

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics

Shame on Barbados: abstains from UN Vote allowing execution for being Gay or Lesbian

Barbados says “no problem worth talking about” as Iran hangs two Gay teenagers.

Barbados has a shameful voting record at the United Nations when it comes to human rights – and that record just got a little worse with our refusal to vote against a bill that says executing people for being gays and lesbians is permissible.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve sided with evil. We actually make a habit of it at the UN in human rights matters. We don’t want to offend any country that might toss a few coins our way.

I have always found it shameful that Barbados – a nation founded with the assistance of chains, whips, rape and cultural genocide – now so easily supports nations involved in slavery and human rights violations. Whether it is our support for Iran’s hanging of children and amputations as punishment, or our “look the other way” while China maintains the world’s largest slave camp system within her borders and uses slave labour in Africa, Barbados long ago lost the moral high ground at the United Nations.

YES – Barbados actually voted at the UN to protect Iran’s use of torture, floggings, amputations as punishment, discrimination and violence against women and executions of children like Ateqeh Rajabi. Rajabi was hanged at 16 years old for the offence of having sex outside of marriage. Barbados supported and still supports Iran’s “right” to execute children.

Now we’ve decided that it’s no problem to us if a country wants to execute gays and lesbians because of their sexual orientation… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Politics