Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today Inc.
If the planners of Barbados’ economy want to save foreign currency and create jobs at the same time, they should incentivise and facilitate a few entrepreneurs in wine production with raw materials such as sweet potatoes, dunks, golden apples, and other fruits.
Coffee can be made from locally grown roasted peas – Roasted yellow whole peas were a popular raw material many decades ago.
There is absolutely no reason why Barbadians should be importing vegetables. A properly organised and the managed cooperative system is required to mitigate against gluts and shortages of food crops and vegetables.
Local chefs should be aware of vegetables with comparable nutritional value that can be substituted for broccoli – namely, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, swiss chard, and spinach. Local farmers must get the necessary support and cooperation of supermarkets, minimarts, other retail shops, and outlets if vegetable trading is to be successful.
Special focus and attention must be paid to import substitution if there is to be a significant reduction in the yearly $700 million food import bill.
Barbadians have choices. We can do the things we have done in the past and get the same results or we can heed some useful advice and reap rewards. If wine, coffee and broccoli are high on the list of our food-import bill, then there are other beneficial alternatives that can be pursued.