Farmers Representative in the Upper House of Parliament Senator Keith Clouden has registered his opposition to the likely sale of the Grenada Marketing National Importing Board (GMNIB).
GMNIB is among a number of Statutory Bodies that are earmarked to be put in the hands of private ownership as part of the Keith Mitchell-led administration’s three-year old Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that is being supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Sen. Clouden told a recent sitting of the Senate that the state-run entity plays a very critical role in rural development and serves the vast majority of rural farmers by providing them with the marketing of their agricultural produce.
“If you were to privatise that operation you know what will happen,” he told fellow Senator.
“The recommendation by the IMF is not what farmers would want to see, and, therefore, government should be conscious in so far as it would want to implement such a recommendation,” he said.
The Farmer’s Representative stressed that GMNIB serves a useful purpose and it is designed to assist in the development of the rural community.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Sen. Simon Stiell during his ministerial statement reported that between 2012 and 2014 there has been a 48% increase in the supply of farmers produce to GMNIB.
The value of that purchase moved from $1.9M to $4.2M.
According to Sen. Stiell, the number of farmers who now actively do business with GMNIB has moved from 1300 to 1900.
There are unconfirmed reports that the Mitchell government has taken a decision not to privatise GMNIB as suggested in a report to government by the IMF-controlled CARTAC Group of Consultants.