Farmers make important contribution, says minster

| 08/03/2011

(CNS): As the Cayman Islands prepares for the 44th Annual Agricultural on Ash Wednesday, 9 March, and the Cayman Brac show on Saturday, 12 March, the minister with responsibility for agriculture said the week would highlight the growing importance of the contribution farmers and other food producers make to the country and the economy. Although Cayman is unlikely to ever be able to feed itself, given the amount of available arable land and the demands of the population, government has said it is focused on increasing local production and increasing food security by supporting farmers in their efforts.

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said the week’s events would also serve to recognize farmers and other players who produce food locally. “We want the population to become more aware of the role of agriculture in national development; farmers do a great service in helping to feed our people and we must take time out to recognize their achievements,” she said.

Alongside the two shows this week, officials from the Department of Agriculture said two seminars are scheduled for Friday, 11 March, at the Stacy Watler Pavillion. Jamaica Drip Irrigation will make a presentation on irrigation methods and greenhouse technology, while the other seminar will be on the topic of pest control.

That same evening, the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society, alongside the Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture, will stage an Agriculture Awards function to recognize prize-winning farmers from the Grand Cayman Agriculture Show.

Director of Agriculture Adrian Estwick said at the start of the week, “The two agricultural shows and the entire week of activities serve to remind the community that agriculture is not only alive but also making an important contribution to the well being of the people throughout the Cayman Islands.”

See below for more details of shows.

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  1. Steven Burke says:

    Cayman needs to take a page from Cuba’s book and understand that the only way to sustain agriculture is by following organic farming principles, which Cuba, thanks to sanctions, has been doing for many years.

    Saying no to GMO’s, banning them, that would be a good first step, then invest in your local farms and offer incentives for farmers to expand and offer as many crops as possible. Buy locally whenever you can, produce is there and available, fresh eggs. GMO’s have been shown to increase still births and miscarraiges in animals and have spawned new bacteria that did not exist before the use of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready pesticides. Keep them out of Cayman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a load of Bull.

  3. Caymanite says:

    Having a vibrant local produce industry may soon become vital when oil runs down and fuel prices skyrocket. We won’t have to be completely out of oil before the cost of fuel is so high that it shuts down (first the ridiculous plan for an oil refinery) air arrivals, the tourism economy, and eventually shipping. We will become a ghost town when oil runs down and long before it runs completely dry. I suspect this will happen much sooner for Cayman and other islands than for the rest of the world because of our dependence on air arrivals and tourism. Oil production has already peaked and we’re already on the slippery backside slope. Big price spikes are soon-come. That’s when we’ll wish we had not over-fished our reefs for the past 60 years and that we’ll wish we had created more incentives for local farmers. It is not too early, but may soon be too late to put in place big incentives for alternative energy sources and electric cars. We don’t want to spend all of our money buying ever more expensive fuel instead of spending that money on ways to produce alternative energy. We need farm, fish and energy incentives now: not as a too-late, knee jerk response to the inevitable energy hikes that are already written on the wall.