Black Immigrant Daily News
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is once again urging residents to go a step further in cutting costs by growing their own food.
Speaking on the high cost of vegetable imports, Mottley advised Barbadians to “step up to the plate” and start small-scale gardening. She made the remarks while speaking at the signing ceremony of the second social compact agreement at Ilaro Court on Monday, February 13.
“It is within our power as Barbadians to take that part of the food bill that we need to keep healthy, but that is within our capacity to grow from a half of bin, to tiles, [or] to a little piece of ground.”
“We need more people to be doing it, because if more people do it, we have a barter economy effectively,” Mottley said.
She added: “As the Government and the private sector and the labour movement try to do our best institutionally, we ask Barbadians and Barbadian households to also step up to the plate.”
Mottley also suggested that local farmers explore exporting their products because the domestic market was too small to reap profits.
“Barbadians have to get accustomed to the notion that we’re going to have to expand production for export in order to drive unit prices down. We have been talking broadly about trying to make sure we are in a position to have more value-added products and to have the capacity for exports.
“I suspect that once that begins to happen, it can be a gamer change in particular for the small poultry producers,” she held.
Mottley noted that the social compact, which will reflect a reduced mark up on 47 items, was one of the measures taken to ease the financial pressures faced by Barbadians, especially low-income families.
She indicated that another measure taken was reduced VAT rate on electricity.
“We have taken a decision to extend, with VAT at 10 per cent, our electricity rates up to 250 KWH again and we are extending it again to September 30 in the first instance again to ensure that we can keep the pressure off of persons,” the Barbadian Prime Minister continued.
The signing of the compact agreement was attended by Chairperson of the Barbados Private Sector Association Trisha Tennis, president of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry Anthony Banker, president of the National Union of Public Workers Kimberley Agard, deputy general secretary of the Barbados Workers Union Dwaine Paul and Ministers Kerrie Symmonds, Senator Lisa Cummins, Indar Weir and representatives of the business community.