The head of the St Andrew-based Nature Fun Ranch is calling on the authorities to stop talking, oil the machines and start work on turning the rugged eastern parish into the nation’s breadbasket.
Corey Layne, founder of the fledgling farm and boot camp for troubled youth at Bruce Vale, St Andrew, said that at a time when there was much talk on reducing the island’s high food import bill, attention must be paid to the fact that the Scotland District has the potential to become the “breadbasket of Barbados, to feed Barbadians”.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Layne said: “When you look at the Scotland District, you understand it has the potential to impact on youth employment, foreign exchange savings, the whole idea of more nutritious eating, food security, and the list really goes on. It is really a no brainer for us to invest more in St Andrew, and the Scotland District in particular.”
In November 2017, Chief Agricultural Officer Lennox Chandler, in a speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the St Andrew-based Soil Conservation Unit, said he believes a National Orchard was needed in Barbados, specifically in the Scotland District.
Chandler suggested a National Orchard should be planted where Scotland District residents themselves can create cottage industries using the fruit and vegetables that are produced.
There were also talks about a National Park Plan in St Andrew and the potential to derive economic benefit from rural tourism, craft industries, among other benefits.
Layne said: “An environmental and national park is an idea that has been bandied about for a while. But I think it is time that we harness the true power of St Andrew, in terms of bringing about recreational activities, and eco-tourism.
“There is a lot of potential in St Andrew and the Scotland District. But we have been barely talking about it. I would really like to see us let the rubber meet the road and get something happening. The reality is that St Andrew has a lot to offer when it comes to agriculture.”