…new agri vistas
We’ve been warned so many times about the dreaded “Dutch Disease” after we (OK, OK, the foreign oil companies!) struck oil, that your Eyewitness swears it must be related to the even more-dreaded dead “Dutchmen” who’ve been haunting us for hundreds of years. And in a way they ARE related. “Dutch Disease” refers to the fate of the Netherlands in the ‘70’s after they discovered offshore oil. They promptly neglected their traditional products as oil revenues flowed into their coffers and duly ran into some deep sh*t when the oil ran out! Their ‘traditional’ products were heavily agricultural.
Interestingly enough, our Dutchmen of yore – who folks insist are lurking behind silk cotton trees to do us in – had brought agriculture (sugar cane, coffee, cotton and tobacco) to Guyana. And your Eyewitness’s fear is that now oil is flowing (and presumably the money – not that we’re seeing much!), we’ll follow in the footsteps of the Dutch and neglect our agriculture. So when the oil runs out – in 30 years? – we’ll be left high, dry and poverty-stricken.
Now, you’d hope our powers-that-be would kinda be in a “forewarned is forearmed” mode, no? Well, they’re certainly “talking the talk”, so maybe it’s time we scratch beneath the surface to find out if it’s just a “gyaaf”. Let’s start with sugar. The Government is pumping in a whole lotta dollars to keep the industry going, so it’s all left on the new management team to literally deliver the sugar! There’ve been persistent criticisms in the press that “things na regular”, but let’s give them a bit more time.
On the second big crop – rice – this was really doing well – with us shipping over 600,000 tonnes abroad and bringing in foreign exchange and so on. But suddenly we learn that the shippers to three big markets – Panama, Cuba, and Trinidad, weren’t getting paid. So what’s the point of all the export figures? We gotta find viable new markets – and not a minute too soon – by using our embassies like the developed countries do – to sell locally-produced goods!
Your Eyewitness has been hearing about new mass-produced crops like soya and corn in the Intermediate Savannahs. But what about all the land we have on the coast? For instance, some years ago the PPP Govt unfurled a “5-P” agri programme for export – especially to the Diaspora markets. Pineapples, pumpkins, peppers, passion fruit and papaw. What happened? Isn’t there room for expansion? Your Eyewitness certainly thinks so!
And how about mangoes – your Eyewitness’s favourite fruit? It’s time we start having orchards to supply consistent quality and quantity?
Your Eyewitness just came across a news item that the PNC GECOM Commissioners claimed they didn’t agree with GECOM’s argument – through its lawyer – recently before the High Court that the PNC’s Petition about the election, being fatally flawed, should be thrown out. Well…duh!! Who expected otherwise? After looking at these three worthies since December 21, 2020 – especially the five months following the elections – they reminded your Eyewitness of no one else but Larry, Moe and Curly Joe!! Yes… they really were the Three Stooges – of the PNC!
Well, the fact of the matter is that GECOM certified – as the law requires – that the results that were published by them represented the true will of the Guyanese people. Now, within GECOM, the Three Stooges might’ve voted otherwise…but they were outvoted and the majority decision – that the PPP won! – carried!! So do they expect GECOM to argue in Court AGAINST its own decision?
They’re just like the PNC with the March 2 votes! What a bunch of wankers!!
…a defence against COVID-19 variant
Your Eyewitness has been agitating for some time about patrolling our border with Brazil to prevent their COVID-19 variants from sneaking over. The Regional Chairman just admitted they’re challenged.
What about all those (expensive) drones?