Former Agriculture Student and current Executive Member of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Adrian Thomas believes that agriculture can still play a leading role in the economic revival of the country.
Thomas who is the NDC Caretaker for St. David’s told a recent public meeting of the party at La Borie in St. George’s that Congress believes in agriculture, and is willing to do everything to take the industry forward.
He recalled the significant role played by former Prime Minister and NDC founding leader, George Brizan who served as the Agriculture Minister in the Nicholas Brathwaite-led Congress administration, and more recently Denis Lett in the Tillman Thomas Government in developing agriculture and giving it prominence as a leading sector of the economy.
He told the meeting that NDC under its current leader, Senator Nazim Burke is walking in the same footsteps of Brizan and Lett.
Thomas indicated that agriculture is serious business, and noted that it plays an important role in the country’s development.
He exhorted the farmers not to give up on agriculture, and do not feel intimidated by the government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell in light of the “little attention” that is now given to agriculture.
Thomas charged that the programmes of casino gambling, and the sale of Grenadian passports through Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme that are being pursued by Mitchell government are not sustainable and will not carry Grenada forward, and NDC is confident that agriculture is the way to go.
The NDC Caretaker looked at how farmers are now benefiting significantly from the sale of cocoa.
He added that millions of dollars are being generated on an annual basis through the nutmeg industry.
Thomas believes more concentration should be given by government to the farm labour support program as was being done in the 2008-13 period in government of the Tillman Thomas administration.
He said once the NDC formed the next government, farmers can be assured that they will be provided with labour to help clear their fields.
In 2008 when the NDC was voted into government the money spent on the debushing program by its predecessor, the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell was $13.5M.
Three million dollars was removed from the program by Congress and used to provide short-term employment in the farm labour support.
One thousand farmers benefited from this initiative of the former NDC administration.