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Oct 30, 2018

Agriculture – A Mixed Bag

The business of cultivating land, producing crops and raising livestock is also a factor in the improved economic performance, but agriculture continues to experience its share of ups and downs, with the struggling banana industry poised for a rebound.  PM Barrow says that embattled businessman John Zabaneh has leased farmland to a Chinese company which will begin to grow bananas in the coming weeks.  He also gave a brief overview of the agro-productive sector.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Agriculture, our other economic mainstay is more of a mixed bag, but bananas are doing well and will do even better with port improvement for alongside berthing and the rehabilitation and putting back into production of some of the old John Zabaneh farms.  A Chinese concern has leased those farms and is looking to replant.  Citrus is still in recovery mode, but is on the cusp of receiving a huge, new capital injection from an international direct foreign investment proposal.  And sugar awaits the CARICOM decision to impose the common external tariff on extra-regional imports of refined white, making way for its substitution by the plantation white produced by Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados or the so-called direct consumption sugars.  This would of course mean increased regional market share for us.  We would take over that portion of the market that’s now being satisfied by the imports, so there would be this huge increased market share and of course that translates into a substantial hike in earnings for our farmers.  Also, B.S.I., A.S.R./B.S.I., is seeking an I.D.B. Invest loan in order to assist independent growers with rehabilitation and expansion.  G.O.B. is required to provide a non-objection letter and we have already done so.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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