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Avellon Williams 

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS – Barbados 🇧🇧 has asked government ministries to work with the main players in the sector to come up with ways to protect its citizens from rising prices.

In her remarks at the opening ceremony for Agrofest at Queen’s Park last week Friday, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley disclosed this information.

PM, Mia Mottley at the opening ceremony Agrofest /Image, FBMAM/

Ms. Mottley told the large gathering, which included His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana 🇬🇾, as well as local and regional cabinet officials, the increased cost to the people was “unsustainable and unacceptable“.

The Prime Minister shared: “I’ve asked the different ministries to start working yet again with the different players to see how we can contain these prices and how we can shield people where we cannot contain prices.”

“Indeed, this is an effort that is being undertaken globally, and one only has to look at what happened in the United Kingdom with the Chancellor of the Exchequer [on Thursday] to understand that this is not a problem that is unique to the Caribbean.”

As well as improving cultivation, logistics and processing, Ms. Mottley believes Barbados’ relationship with Guyana would help turn around the statistic of almost four out of every 10 Caribbean citizens living in poverty.

“We believe that we are standing on a strong platform and that it is time now for us to move to the next level, especially as we face these multiple challenges that have confronted us over the last two years,” she underlined.

The Prime Minister continued: “That President Ali and Minister Mustapha (Zulfikar) have been able to move with lightning speed over the course of the last 18 months to put this region in a position where we not only endorse the plan in March in Belize at the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting but were able then to meet in Guyana last week, in perhaps one of the largest agricultural investment fora ever to be held in this Caribbean region in the post-Independence era, is of significant mention for us.”

Meanwhile, President Ali stressed the importance of looking at food security from a broader perspective given the challenges the region faces.  According to him, all efforts must be centered on agriculture, given the expected worsening of the current crisis.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali at the opening ceremony /Image, FBPIA/

“That is why we have to fix this and we have to fix this as a collective. We have to understand that the challenges that will come will impact us the most and our only tool to mitigate those challenges is increasing our own production, removing…the thoughtless impediments to trading between ourselves, the sharing between ourselves and opening up opportunities through which we can sustain ourselves in a reliable manner,” he proffered.

The theme of this year’s Agrofest is ‘Greening Together Ah Caribbean Thing.’

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Avellon Williams

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