Chief Agricultural Officer Dispels Myths

Theresa Blackman Ministry News

farming

(FP)

Chief Agricultural Officer (CAO), Lennox Chandler, is dispelling some of the myths that have led to what he has described as “a circus of tomfoolery and absurdity” as it relates to agriculture in Barbados.

While delivering the opening remarks this morning at a training workshop on Tomato Product Development hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Mr. Chandler reiterated that in his opinion, the “circus” was led by rhetoric and hyperbole, and he wanted no part of that.

He stated that very often, he heard people who should be well informed make comments, such as “they need to bring science back into agriculture”. However, he described such statements as “the height of absurdity”.

“Agriculture is in itself is a science. No one goes around saying that you should bring the science back into medicine or bring science back into engineering or bring science back into Information Technology, because people see these things as sciences. However, Agriculture is seen not as a science but rolling up in mud with an old tear up pants and a ripped up shirt. And, that is a myth that we have to dispel and we have to disabuse those persons who are of that thinking,” he contended.

Mr. Chandler stressed that unlike other disciplines in which persons could get away with modelling, predictions and guessing, agriculture was grounded in observation and research.

“We do not sit down and guess that it will take a sheep three weeks to deliver a lamb. We go out there and watch the sheep and then we write down what has happened. So, this thing about agriculture [being] based on theory and the staff of the Ministry is based on book learning needs to be really removed from our thinking,” he maintained.

Another myth that the CAO dispelled about the Ministry of Agriculture, was that it was a large plantation staffed by “over qualified labourers” whose job was to produce food for the entire population of Barbados, and for people to come and take as they chose.

Another myth that the CAO dispelled about the Ministry of Agriculture, was that it was a large plantation staffed by “over qualified labourers” whose job was to produce food for the entire population of Barbados, and for people to come and take as they chose.

“People just seem to think that we are up there growing food. We can do that. If you want us to do that, we can do it, but that in general is not our mandate at this point in time,” he stressed.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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