Farmers could soon have a representative body in the form of the Farmers Association of Barbados.
The proposal was made by chef turned farmer, Deborah Hunte, to farmers attending a meeting yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, to discuss praedial larceny and other issues affecting them.
Hunte explained that the association would seek to present farmers as a united force that should be respected by Government as well as average citizens. She added that the aim would be to empower and enable farmers to effectively manage their farms as viable businesses by providing them with all of the necessary resources needed in the form of information, education and services.
“The Farmers Association of Barbados is seeking to be the ultimate organisation for farmers. It will be a non-governmental organisation which will work closely with other entities such as security organisations, training facilitators, lending agencies and telecommunication providers.
“Members of the wider community such as BARNUFO and BARVEN and the Police Association have expressed an interest and desire to work with us in an effort to help us achieve our ultimate goal.
“It is recognised that many farmers have little or no knowledge or training in business plan preparation and proposal, Book Keeping and Accounts. We will take advantage of various courses being offered by the Small Business Association and various training providers
“We will set up a [secure] database for farmers which will contain information such as what crops are planted and the amounts. This is an effort to arrest cases of theft and give us an idea as to where we are deficient in certain crops and it could assist in controlling the problem of product glut,” Hunte disclosed.
She said the motto of the association would be Happy Farmers, Well Fed Nation, pointing out that it was about time that farmers stopped being victims and actually did something about the problems affecting them.