Barbados Farms Limited, a private company, lost $850,000.00 last year and has paid not a cent in dividends. They planted onions and should produce at least 60,000 pounds an acre. And even if it cost $30,000.00 per acre to plant, onions are sold at $1.00 a pound and that is $30,000.00 profit per acre, $300,000.00 per ten acres. Onions can be sold for 60 cents to the consumer and be produced at a cost of 30 cents.
The problem is onion blast because the onion farmers and the government do not know how to cure it and those who know the old way will not tell unless they are compensated. Some years ago an acre and a quarter of land in St. George, at Salters, produced 83,250 lbs and the day to day details are recorded from day one: planted 11/12/97, what nitrogen was applied and the date, when the second set of nitrogen was applied, damping off and what spray and when for hoppers, further fertilizer and further nitrogen to produce 1,665 bags of 50 lbs.
The island grows the most expensive and the most luscious and the most durable cotton in the world and what is needed is to go into what the consumer pays for the finished goods and its distribution. A public/private sector sea-island cotton project cotton was set up and Barrow’s cousin, the co-founder of the software company being sued, headed it. Those, who attended the original meeting and put up money were given two shares for everyone before the offer was closed. The government then put in $4 million dollars and bought shares. After a period of ineffectiveness, where cotton was planted at Malvern and during the growing season a tractor was put through the fields and it destroyed one in every four rows and after he was paid a large amount, Barrow’s cousin was fired, the government took over the project completely, the cotton was picked and is in storage and when difficult question are asked the minister talks of shipping cotton overseas but nothing has been done.
One of the big, local, White investors in both Barbados Farms and the cotton industry’s new deal* could not make it as a planter and he become a wheeler-dealer building entrepreneur; knowledge he has is in engineering and not in agriculture and since many times the government has been unsuccessful in the local cotton deals it is unlikely that they can be effective against an up-to-date international wheeler dealer and the predictable failure is no doubt written in like most things at certain levels of operation it will be totally covered up, ignored or some red herring drawn across the trail to divert interest.
Excerpt from REFLECTI0NS – Modern Politics – The Caribbean, Africa and Asia Minor
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