PM Gives Dean Jonas An Ultimatum


Prime Minister Gaston Browne has publicly given his Agriculture Minister Dean Jonas an ultimatum, to improve the sector or leave.

Browne was on radio over the weekend responding to criticism over the performance of the sector when he issued the missive to Jonas.

Both the small Democratic  National Alliance and the main opposition United Progressive Party criticised the county’s performance in Agriculture.

The prime minister admits that some of the criticism is justified.

“I am going to accept that we have not made enough progress… I am not saying that enough progress would not have been made,” he said.

Browne said he has already spoken to Jonas on the matter.

“I had a real stern discussion with the Agriculture Minister yesterday and I said to him you have to step up.

“He has said to me there would have been improvements but I  am not necessarily doubting him,” Browne said.

“I do not believe that the objectives we have set to increase agricultural production significantly, that those objectives have been met at least not fully.

“He has to step up and I am putting him under public notice that he either shape up or shape out.”

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    Oh Great Jerusalem!

    Do know that with ‘…Ultimatum’ specific ‘…Time Limit’ is often given for something to happen.

    ‘…Shape Up or Ship Out.’

    Not ah darn thing ’bout exporting agricultural produce though.

    Just a ‘…Gentle Urging’ and ‘…an Intolerable Warning’ before the ‘…Bull is held by the horn,’ whatever the hell this means.

    Ah! See where the Prime Minister is focusing.

    Not sure in what ‘…Shape’ or frame of mind the Agriculture Minister might be, and what he has for the ‘…Agriculture Sector to ‘…Ship Out’ as export.

    Man or agricultural produce, ‘…someone or some darn thing, has to be ‘…Shipped Out’

    Boat calling into’…Pointe Port’ soon.

    Minister better plant some darn ‘…Ochro (Okra); …Tomato and Potato, Eddo or Jamaican Cho-Cho,’ quickly.

  2. Besides the ministers (Nibbs and Jonas) lacking knowledge in agriculture there appears to be a serious lack of funds being allotted to the departments and especially so to the veterinary division. The fault for that lies with the Minister/s of Finance. How disgraceful is it that there is a lack of vital drugs and equipment desperately needed to keep large and small animals healthy, not least of which a portable x-ray and ultrasound. The Ministry of Agriculture (food, animal and cotton production) should be one of the most important ministries in the island but is treated by the ABLP as if it doesn’t count and should be given away to the Chinese.

    • The money the government estimated each year in the budget for Agriculture are just to pay for salaries and wages. More funds need to be pump into our Agriculture/Manufacturer, Health/Medical, Education, APUA/Utilities, and Public Work’s/Infrastructure. Once these ministries are up to twenty-first century, then we can think about putting more money into our tourism for better marketing.

  3. Ministers of an industry should be expert in that industry. I will continue to preach merit should always be followed.

  4. Jonas better get his butt in gear or prepare to be kicked to the curb. It’s that simple. Too much nonsense going on.

  5. It take 18 to 24 months at minimum to start seeing a turnaround of an Agricultural sector.
    Need to improve production before you can increase export. Antigua population growth is so vast that its farmers will never be able to keep up by doing the same thing. Therefore, imports will continue to increase. Remember they are not just feeding the citizens but also a vast amount of tourist.
    Farmers need to be more strategic with the help of the government. One farmer need to focus on growing tomatoes in large quantity all year round. Another farmer should focus on doing the same with cucumbers.
    I am not saying that they should not grow other crops but with the ability to perfect and produce one item all year round in larger quantity then that’s when the sector will start seeing a turn for the good.

    The farmer that focuses on tomatoes will also do a bit of cucumbers on the side and a little carrots, etc…
    Now the Farmers who does cucumbers and the one that does carrots will always have their supplies to tap into when fall behind in production and export demand.

    The reason why there is a problems is because they still doing the same thing over and over. So how does one expect different result if keep doing the same thing? So we start with finding out which side of the island is more conducive growing which vegetable all year round and so on….
    Any 16 year old in Antigua probably can tell you that those farmers in the Pot Works Dam area should focus more on Carrot that does not not need must water. Vs Cucumbers that should be more in the round south area….

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