Honourable Edison James expresses concern for the agricultural sector.
Parliamentary Representative for the Marigot Constituency, Honourable Edison James said that the Government of Dominica has failed to recognize the development of the agriculture sector as its major priority. While addressing the media at a press conference earlier this month, Mr. James said that it is rather unfortunate that only 3% of the entire 2010/2011 National Budget has been allocated to the agriculture industry.
He Said, “The Government of Dominica has played an active role in the demise or the difficulties of the agricultural industry. The fragmentation of the industry has been something that I have been constantly warning the government about. I heard Mr. Matthew Walter said the other day that the granting of the sales and purchasing agreement to the fair trade was a mistake.”
He believes that the Government of Dominica is not injecting sufficient funds into the industry.
“We heard about the $100 million dollars from the Chinese and I suggest that at least $20 million of that $100 million should have been allocated for a major agricultural development program. This program will involve the identification of the appropriate markets and to be tailored and linked to the production capacity of our country,” said the former Prime Minister.
Mr. James highlighted a few suggestions to the Government of Dominica on behalf of the people of the Marigot Constituency.
“The demise of agriculture including bananas was of a concern. The need for proper marketing arrangements for agricultural produce offering a fair price was also an issue,” said Mr. James.
The Parliamentary Representative advised the Minister for Agriculture, Honourable Matthew Walter, to spearhead a meeting with all the relevant stakeholders to analyze the problems faced by the agricultural industry and to develop a solution that would sway the industry into a successful path.