Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Michael King (FP)??

Farmers are being encouraged to pool their resources in light of the present challenges facing the agricultural sector.

The suggestion has come from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Michael King, who said increased cooperation among farmers could bring about several benefits including reduced input costs, finance and improved marketing.

He was speaking at the Agrofest 2012 Awards Ceremony at the Dining Club, Building No. 11, Newton, Christ Church, last Friday night.

The United Nations has designated 2012, The Year of the Cooperatives, while the theme for this year’s World Food Day celebrations is Cooperatives – Key to Agricultural Development.

"I, therefore, urge you members of the farming community to redouble your efforts and join existing cooperatives or form new groupings as a means of sharing information, accessing cheaper inputs, credit, services and markets. This will certainly assist you in these tough economic times," Mr. King said.

The Permanent Secretary also called on the farming community to pay closer attention to the changing weather patterns in Barbados and the region and to seek to devise mitigation strategies for such challenges.

"It is important that we not only acknowledge the changes occurring, but begin to formulate adaptation strategies to mitigate the possible effects of climate change… the loss of plant and animal biodiversity and ecosystems, the increased incidence of pests and diseases, ground water depletion and salinisation are but some of the adverse effects predicted," Mr. King pointed out.


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