The turn of events with the state-owned Grand Bras estate and the group of revolutionaries who were given the first preference to engage in its commercialisation should not take anyone with knowledge of agriculture by surprise.
The criteria used by government to hand over the farm to Grenada Innovative Farm (GIF) to turn it into a profit-making venture was never made known to the public.
The main figures behind the farm – Liam James and John “Chalkie” Ventour – did not have any known track record as farmers in the country.
The two along with their close associates are best remembered for their role and involvement in the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution following the armed overthrow of the Eric Gairy government by the New Jewel Movement (NJM) of Maurice Bishop.
During the four-and-a-half years of rule of the island by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG), James was considered as the third most powerful person in the country as Security matters concerning the State were placed in his hands.
Ventour was more engaged in trade union matters and had no known training in agriculture.
He was never even hired by the Ministry of Agriculture under the PRG.
From all reports the two text book committed Marxist-Lenninists were not even engaged in farming during their lengthy stay at the Richmond Hill prison after being convicted along with fifteen others for the execution of Bishop.
So the question is – where did they obtain the knowledge and know how to run a state farm?
Can they be considered as arm chair farmers who might have learnt a thing or two about agriculture from reading a few books behind the walls of the Richmond Hill prison?
Many persons in this country held the view that the awarding of the state farm to GIF was influenced heavily by political consideration out of a perception that many of them threw their support behind the New National Party (NNP) in the 2013 general elections.
Prominent left-wingers Peter David and Chester Humphrey, expelled members of Congress, are now associated with the Mitchell-led government under the “Project Grenada” banner.
The so-called “Far Left” faction of the Grenada Revolution has now been effectively split further with one set throwing their support behind David and the other committed to Nazim Burke who is now the Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
THE NEW TODAY understands that a lot of the things done by James and Ventour on Grand Bras estate are quite questionable.
A person with knowledge of the agriculture sector pointed out that thousands of dollars were wasted by the new entrants into farming on an expensive irrigation system that was put in place on the farm.
The revolutionaries were lucky in the early days of the farm to get assistance from a wealthy Grenadian in the California area of the United States.
This individual is credited with virtually single-handedly bankrolling the farm out of a desire to try and introduce technology into agriculture to help boost agricultural production in the country.
It is our understanding that he did not interfere with the day-to-day running of the farm and allowed James and Ventour a free hand to run GIF.
Agriculture is serious business and needs persons with knowledge of the industry to make a success of it.
An individual who got involved in the farm for a short period reported that during the time spent on the estate he never one day noticed James at Grand Bras.
It is quite interesting to hear the words now issued by Attorney-General, Cajeton Hood, a close friend of former Lieutenant-Colonel Ewart Layne who has now surfaced as Acting Manager of the Farm.
Speaking to reporters at last Tuesday’s post-Cabinet Press Briefing, AG Hood said: “…I want to stress that the intention of the government is to have a resolution of the issues (with GIF) because there are issues but the intention is to have the issues resolved as amicably as possible. In the event that both sides have to walk away from the agreement the intention is to have it as peacefully as possible”.
Are these coded words being used by the Attorney General for a particular purpose?
Can anyone imply correctly that these words might have something to do with the upcoming general elections and to try and maintain the status quo with the leftist remnants?
THE NEW TODAY suspects that there is a lot of behind the scene/ backdoor negotiations taking place involving certain left-wingers in the country in order to allow James and Ventour to hold onto Grand Bras estate.
Only time will tell.