Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, has sought to reassure Barbadians that there is enough food to supply the island during the COVID-19 crisis.
Weir revealed that there was surplus of some agricultural commodities on the island, and said there was no need panic. He was speaking following a tour of the BARVEN Outdoor Marketplace on the Mighty Grynner Highway.
“We have produce in the poultry industry that we have excess supply of because the hotels are closed…, fast food restaurants are closed.
“I can only urge Barbadians to take advantage of the opportunities that would arise because I [recently] saw a reduction in pork prices when persons buy a certain minimum amount, and that initiative is indeed a good one and one that I support, but this is part of the push and pull for demand and supply. There is no need to panic,” Minister Weir said.
Pointing to the additional 750 acres of land which is to be brought under cultivation, the Agriculture Minister said they had already started the planting of crops, such as tomatoes, lettuce and cabbage, which mature within four to six weeks.
“We’ve started that process, and we will continue to monitor it and continue the weekly reports that are required,” Weir noted.
He also spoke to the drought concerns raised by farmers, stating that steps were being taken to ensure that farmers at Spring Hall, St Lucy, and River, St Philip, had access to a consistent supply of water, thereby aiding their efforts to keep up with the demand for fresh produce during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.