Farmers are being promised that they will reap several benefits under a United Progressive Party (UPP) administration.
Party leader, Senator Harold Lovell said the agriculture and agro-processing sectors have been disadvantaged by the government, and added that the UPP will make agriculture a priority under its leadership.
Lovell said the UPP would create linkages between the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC), crop and livestock farmers to reduce wastage of produce.
He said funding would be sourced to create dams in the agricultural areas, as well as securing funding for hay making and baler machines that will be used to harvest grass and for storage facilities in anticipation of periodic droughts.
According to Lovell, farmers who owe the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) arrears on their water bills would be given a reprieve.
The UPP senator said an exchange system would be established to include CMC, APUA and the farming community.
Lovell said the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria have exposed the vulnerability of the country with regards to food insecurity when “the Dominica boats and the Miami containers cannot come here.”
“[We would reinvigorate] the Central Marketing Corporation to act as a clearing house for farmers particularly in the supply of produce to the hotel sector and government institutions.
[Also] by empowering the relevant units to engage in research that will inform long term manufacturing and or the preservation of bumper crops- including mangoes, avocadoes, tomatoes and onions to start,” Lovell said.
Lovell said a UPP government would make changes in the agriculture sector, including providing bonafide farmers with security of tenure, and allowing them to build dwelling homes on the land (their farms) as an incentive to increase production and a deterrent to praedial larceny.
The cotton industry, he said, would be taken to a new level and used as the base for modern manufacturing and high end fashion industry.
Lovell noted his administration would also explore scientific research in hemp production for medicinal and industrial purposes.
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oh plz! Would quicker take a chance with the DNA than to ever let this bafool wreak havoc on A&B all over again!!!!
Anybody comforted by these words?
Under your 10 years agriculture withered away and aost died. Vast tracks of agricultural land were given over to unproductive use. Why should anyone believe you could do better? Lip service is cheap and confidence in your leadership is already dead.
I hear the comments and the information and as a farmer it is welcomed to some degree. However, timelines and more details on what will be done would be appreciated so that an informed decision can be made. At the end of the day we the farmers are looking for delivery, consistency, honesty not promises.
UPP came on a white Horse in 2004 and exited on a donkey in 2014 . Who in their right mind going to take you seriously certainly not the clear minded and not blinded people. You need to think about why is the UPP presently fighting to regain power when u had an opportunity to make meaningful changes and develop the country. What have you gained in 3yrs that would make the same people who voted against you to return. Listen Antigua and Barbuda had 28 yrs of ALP gave you 10 yrs you know why? They wanted a change new concepts, new ideas, new leader and your party got their chance. There is no turning back. I prefer orange and black !
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