Chandler: Barbadians Must Help Reduce High Import Bill

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Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Lennox Chandler (FP)??

With the international food price index on the rise again – ??the first time in six months – Barbadians have been reminded of the importance of producing more of the foods which they consume and vice versa.

This is according to Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Lennox Chandler, who pointed out that such action would help reduce this country’s "ever burgeoning food import bill."

Mr. Chandler was speaking yesterday on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick, at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Reporting Session and Reception at UN House, Marine Gardens, Christ Church.

"In the case of Barbados, we need to produce more of the food we consume and consume more of what we produce such as root crops, sweet potatoes, yams and cassava….Barbados has been designated as a net food import deficit country. This is based on the fact that we import more agricultural produce than we export. The rising cost of fuel has contributed significantly to the phenomenal increase in food prices. The international food price index has risen again for the first month of this calendar year after a fall off in the last six months of 2011," he said.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary called on Barbadians to help reverse the negative dietary trends which have been adopted by the youth, that is, eating junk food saturated with trans-fat and high in sodium chloride.

He also urged Barbadians to return to those healthy eating habits which are part of this country’s culinary tradition.

"The National Nutrition Centre and other such agencies have been advocating the consumption of traditional foods which are high in dietary fibres and complex carbohydrates that are far more appropriate for our health. As Barbadians, we must seek to preserve and revisit the desirable and healthy aspects of our culinary heritage," Mr. Chandler maintained.

andre.skeete@barbados.gov.bb

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