Feverish attempts are continuing to ensure vulnerable families can benefit from Government’s care packages expected to be delivered this week.
Despite the Pack House of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) at Fairy Valley and Bridgetown being a hive of activity yesterday, it is still short of a number of the produce required for filling the care packages as distribution days draw near.
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw who is leading the initiative told a recent press conference, the distribution would begin Feb 9-12, but officials were in a race against time yesterday at their respective locations of the BADMC as well as the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS).
Leandra Grant, manager of Pack House and Tractor and Motor Service manager at the Fairy Valley headquarters of the BADMC said the initiative was put in place so that during the shutdown farmers could still earn some revenue, but a constant flow of produce to the BADMC was necessary.
She said a slowdown has presented a headache to management at the BADMC who have put out an urgent call to all farmers, both large and small across Barbados, to get their produce to them in a timely manner.
“We are very low on a number of things such as sweet potatoes, carrots, eddoes, yams, green bananas, plantains, chives and marjoram and we are calling on all farmers to bring their produce to the BADMC and the BAS”, she said yesterday from the Pack House at Fairy Valley.
She, however, noted that they were still able to get a substantial amount of care packages ready for collection by the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) by Monday so that distribution could start, but the present shortage of a number of things, as a result of slow deliveries, will impact negatively on their ability to fulfil the needs of some families.
She said the call for assistance is going to both large and small farmers, as small numbers will add up and assist them in meeting the deadlines set for deliveries during the shutdown.
“From 50 pounds and up we are willing to take as it would still go some way in helping us to reach the target as we have run out of some things and also running out of time”, she added.
Calling on farmers to bring what produce they have, the BADMC official said they have to fill 60, 000 care packages and with additional staff, working extended hours to make it happen, they will be working way into the wee hours of the morning in their attempts to get on target. ( TT)