Barbados will soon have a new market information system for the agriculture sector.

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr. David Estwick, as he addressed the Barbados Agricultural Society???s Agriculture Symposium and luncheon yesterday, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Dr. Estwick said that the system is being set up by the Ministry in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.

He explained that the entity will allow the ministry to know what is being produced in Barbados??? agricultural sector, who is producing it, when it will be harvested, and the demand for the product.

He added that this would allow the farming community to know exactly what was needed from the various entities instead of just growing products in a random matter. ???It is unfortunate because goods could probably be produced here [in Barbados] if you had a proper market information system that allows the domestic producers [and] ??? the farmer to know what government institutions like the Queen Elizabeth Hospital purchase, the Geriatric hospital, the Psychiatric hospital, the School Meals department, the Welfare Department, the restaurants, and the hotels purchase,??? he noted.

Minister Estwick said that Barbados needed to move away from the ???traditional way??? of agricultural arrangements to one that focuses on agribusiness, agriculture in health, tourism, energy and the environment.

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