Produce Food or Starve
The Caribbean Is One Nation.
|Dr Eric Williams|
The current recession has brought home to Caribbean governments, the importance of food production. Ever since the arrival of tourism as one of the region’s leading foreign exchange earners, agriculture has been put on the back burner and food production has dropped considerably or has not increased substantially.
We are quoting a number of excerpts from an address given by the late Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Eric Williams, to the Convention of the Caribbean Veterinary Association in August 1974.
“The price of our imported food continues to rise aggravated by the rise in freight rates, insurance etc., We remain at the mercy of all the imported inflation of developed countries, at a time emphasizing what His Excellency the President of Gambia had just said, when famine stalks many parts of the world today, and the prospects are that the situation will not improve, if we believe what is being said today………”
“….only four days ago in Barbados, a working party of the four larger Caribbean Community territories met to work out proposals for the organization of a huge food project to achieve the largest possible measure of self-sufficiency in the Caribbean.”
“The idea was born when Prime Minister Manley (Jamaica) urged me to give urgent attention to the problem of shortage and the high price of fertilizer.”
“Very special interest must be placed on livestock- including meat, dairy products and stock feed….”
“Similar emphasis must be placed on fish, fruits and vegetables…”
“Production must aim to satisfy not only the food needs of the local population of the Caribbean. It must also take into account the needs of the extensive tourist trade in such countries as Barbados and Jamaica….”
Prime Minister Williams went on to say that Trinidad and Tobago would literally use its oil resources to underwrite this project. Unfortunately, it never materialized and with the passing of the guard to the current group of jokers it remains nothing more than a reference point for those masquerading as intellectuals in the region. The above quotes are now almost forty years old and there is no plan to feed the region.
Where there is no vision the people perish. We can now say that with no vision the people will also starve.
Ref: Forged From The Love of Liberty. Selected Speeches of Dr. Eric Williams.
Compiled by Dr Paul K Sutton.