If it is one thing that Opposition Member of Parliament for St Thomas Cynthia Forde and Government’s St Michael West Central representative James Paul agree on, it is that there’s need for preservation of agricultural land.
Speaking on a resolution, which was later passed in the House, for the compulsory acquisition of land at Brighton, St George for the public purpose of housing, Forde and Paul both complained that too much arable land was being taken out of agriculture and put to commercial use.
Forde called for closer attention to be paid to the cutting up of large tracts of arable land, saying this was the case in most of rural Barbados.
She further complained that while lush plots were being covered with foundations for houses or commercial enterprises, other less fertile acreages had been left to lie fallow.
“It is about time that all Barbadians come on board and seriously look at agriculture and how we are going to pursue a path of feeding ourselves,” she urged.
Paul, who is the president of the Barbados Agricultural Society, also warned “we cannot continue to be taking up good agricultural land in our country when there are other areas that are there in the urban areas that can be made just as attractive for accommodation”.
“We need to come up with novel approaches towards resolving the issue of housing in this country,” he said, suggesting that one such approach was to make areas of The City and its immediate environs more attractive.
However, he lamented that there were too many empty and abandoned houses left to ruin in urban areas.
“We need to have greater flexibility in our court system towards dealing with this issue of unoccupied houses in this country,” he maintained.