The Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul, has dismissed as a farce a University of the West Indies study, which has cleared the state-run Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) of importing poultry to the detriment of the local chicken industry.
The study, conducted by Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics Dr Winston Moore and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Dr Justin Robinson, examined the BADMC’s poultry imports and their impact on the poultry sector, amidst claims that such imports have proven injurious to local production. It also followed a recent controversy sparked by the BADMC’s decision to recommend approval of a licence for a food business to bring in two containers of chicken wings.
This afternoon an upset Pau declared that the study was “not worth the paper that it was written on”, and he called on the BADMC Chairman, Shawn Tudor, to remove himself from that position.
“If you are going to present and give the impression that you are presenting a comprehensive study, isn’t it fitting that, at least, the consultants who are going to be doing this study contact all of the stakeholders in the industry rather than going forward with a bold assumption in relation to the industry? asked Paul.
He said it was “unfortunate that a chairman of the BADMC, an organization, an institution that is supposed to be there to facilitate the development of agriculture, and, as far as I am aware, the poultry sector is the largest subsector within the agricultural sector, and this is the type of behaviour that we see coming from the chairman of a state corporation that is there responsible for the development this sector.
“I attended a board meeting the other day of the BADMC at no point in time was this study ever put forward to the board. The chairman had enough opportunity to do this and I must say that I really question the conduct of [Tudor] and certainly this will not end here,” Paul warned.
He said he would be taking his protest to both the Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
“We cannot have chairmen of boards who behave in such a manner in the public without recognising that they have statutory responsibility to the board of which they are a part,” he stated.
“What I would have thought in these times when the industry is faced with so many problems in terms of being competitive, [is] that the BADMC, because of the developmental role that it has to play, would have addressed its mind and resources towards trying see how it would have addressed the deficiencies in the poultry industry.
“That in itself would have, at least, enabled it to fulfill the mandate for which it was established,” the BAS head said.
“I understand the challenges which the Chairman face[s]. He has been badly bruised, mutilated as a result of the reckless decision of the BADMC to agree to have Paul’s Enterprises import two containers of chicken wings into this country.
“He is trying to make a comeback. That come back is too late. What Mr Tudor should do is apologise to the industry and give the Minister of Agriculture his papers to be put at his disposal,” Paul told reporters.