Government encourages buy local; sets sights to eliminate import of certain produce


Locally grown produce


Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy, Dr. Vince Henderson has called for the elimination of importation of certain fruits and vegetables to Dominica.

He made the announcement during a press conference on Wednesday.

“I want us to target the elimination of any green leafy vegetables,” he said.

He continued, “We should not be importing watermelon. We need to eliminate the importation of those things and I am saying that I am prepared to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and if it means the imposition of tariffs on some of these imported stuff outside of CARICOM, we will do that.”

In October 2022, while delivering the feature address at the annual Diaspora dialogue, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit reiterated a call for the reduction of imports to Dominica.

According to him, there is no reason why any Dominican should buy imported watermelon in Dominica.

 “There is no reason why anybody should buy imported cantaloupe in Dominica,” he stated.

Mr. Skerrit believes the power in terms of transforming agriculture resides in the hands of the consumers.

“If you go to the supermarket and you insist that you want local stuff they will stock up with local stuff,” he stated. “This is where we are pushing heavily and also agro-processors turning primary products into secondary and tertiary products, adding value to it…”


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  1. keron
    September 16, 2023

    im partially agreeing with the statement Vince Henderson we should not be importing green leafy vegetables into Dominica but that doesn’t mean we should completely eliminate importing green leafy vegetables into Dominica but try to reduce it importing might also release the strain on farmers i think we should import just about enough that the farmers and consumers can be happy not too a point where the farmers make little to no income

  2. RandyX
    August 17, 2023

    Skerrit, don’t talk to Dominicans about issues like that. Get your friends the Nassiefs, the Astaphans and the Whitchurchs on the round table and tell them 5o get their act together. I suspect they would tell you were to go!

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 13, 2023

    Since then membership has grown to over twenty Caribbean nations. If one research it and there are found Agricultural nations from Guyana in South America to Jamaica in the North of the Caribbean, one may discover that all the islands produce the same things agriculturally.

    So how can this man come up with such stupid suggestions?

    What if we ever manage to produce some industrial products, and an island in the region producing the same thing said that from Dominica cannot be imported into their country.
    And look at his!

    Antigua, does not have a single river or spring, no actual running source of fresh water; nevertheless, bottled water from Antigua are sold in Dominica; now someone with commonsense should asks that dumb doctor of nothing, how come Dominica fresh spring water are not sold in Antigua, and all over and the rest of the world?
    Henderson, don’t you think that would generate much more revenue than the sale of Dominica passports to thieves and money…

  4. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 13, 2023

    Vince Henderson has called for the elimination of importation of certain fruits and vegetables to Dominica.”
    So, here is another ignoramus doctor of nothing!
    If this man is calling for the elimination of imported fruits and vegetables into the country; whereas Antigua exports sweet potato to Dominica, and whereas sweet-potatoes are a vegetable; when they cannot sell their vegetable in Dominica, will they allow the boat loads of Dominica agricultural produce which are fruits and vegetables into Antigua?
    And that’s how stupid our people are!
    In that case what purpose do CARICOM serve? The Caribbean Community Common Market is suppose to be a regional group of nations that encourage common policy and economic goal: it was the idea of the late prime minister of Antigua V. C. Bird, who first named it CARIFTA “Caribbean Free Trade” I don’t remember what the “A ” represents, and that was in the 1970’s. Bird invited Barbados to enter into the organization, they were the only two.

  5. Froggy
    August 12, 2023

    I wonder how much local food the CM and his family eat? Very little, I guess!

    • Lawyer
      August 19, 2023

      I would agree with you. I don’t think caviar, champagne, Chateau Petrus, truffles, iberico ham etc. are being produced in DA.

  6. AA
    August 12, 2023

    Unfortunately i did not get anything out if this article. These few lines were about watermelon. One just repeted what the other said. Are we going to stop importation of meat, rice, pasta, toiletpaper, juices, milk, bread, eggs, flour, butter, sugar, eyelashes, hair, nails, hats? What are their suggestions. I would like to hear!

  7. Lin clown
    August 11, 2023

    For the very first time a university trained agriculturist,Mr Jonathan Y St.Jean is making sense.The other blue baboons does not know Dominican farmers are producing more than they can consume.What you post is bull,you want to FORCE Dominicans to eat what you want them to eat.Skerrit and Vince has been in power since 2000.For all those years you have been bellyaching like a Jacka.Your idiotic,foolish and nonsensical comments are taking you nowhere.Skrrrit,Skerrit,Vince,Vince,Starboy,Starboy.With all your education you continue to eat from STARBOY trough.Shameless.

  8. Jonathan Y St Jean
    August 11, 2023

    I, for one, learned a long time ago from the true patriot, Charles Maynard, the importance of buying local and buying regional. I practice that in my everyday life by firstly reading labels and ensuring there is a Caribbean input as much as possible. I agree with educating citizens on the importance of supporting local as it creates and sustains jobs as well as earning foreign exchange for the country among other benefits. However, I have a problem with the watermelon example. I don’t like watermelons with seeds and if there aren’t seedless watermelons grown locally no one should force me to not enjoy the seedless ones of my choice. I will be willing to pay for what gives me value for my money. How many others are willing to do as I am, I don’t know and don’t think this will severely affect the balance of payments situation and the earnings of farmers because only a small amount is at stake here. Look for other countries to challenge the decision in court up to the WTO.

    • out of south city
      August 11, 2023

      I know it’s your choice of seedless watermelon but consider this. Fruits without seeds are not natural. They are not grown from seeds. The life of the fruit is in the seed.

  9. Zandoli
    August 11, 2023

    Fix the feeder roads, help the farmers with their input costs and you will see more local produce on the supermarket shelves and the local markets. Imposing more tariffs are only going to increase the cost of produce, both imported and local. Once you eliminate one source of competition the incumbent (Haitian) will be free to increase their prices. Guess where the extra profit goes – straight to Haiti via Moneygram.

    Skerrit and his henchmen have no ideas on how to grow the economy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  10. We Know Better
    August 11, 2023

    On a much as I think we need a change of people running the island, I’m in total support of this move. They have to make moves geared at reducing our food import bill, to heavy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  11. SN
    August 11, 2023

    In addition to fruits and vegetables, bread should be included as well. There is no reason to be importing bread.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  12. Juanita
    August 11, 2023

    “We should not be importing watermelon. We need to eliminate the importation of those things and I am saying that I am prepared to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and if it means the imposition of tariffs on some of these imported stuff outside of CARICOM, we will do that.”
    This statement by the Minister is indicative of a disconnect between the Ministries and Cabinet, by extension. Why not discuss it first Mr. Minister and then come back and inform the people of a concrete plan? If this Labour party government means well for the people of Dominica, they should come up with a workable National Agriculture Policy that would return farmers to the soil to grow those leafy greens and watermelons, etc. They have done nothing for 23 years, choosing instead to put all their eggs in one basket – selling national passports. Now that basket is falling apart they now running around like headless chickens.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0
  13. MEME
    August 11, 2023

    Vince and Starboy of Stupidity, Skerrit, are TWO of a kind…If it’s their masters importing those products, those parrots will just talk until the cows come home and will go nothing. Skerrit and Vince are not in control. Remember the late Osborne Riviere warned about those TWO guys long ago. Mr Riviere (deceased), told Dominicans if they are believing that Skerrit is bad, then Vince is worse!!! So it’s talk but no action, by two affluent guys who haved ‘sucked’ Dominica dry.
    Who are those importers Con Vince? Are they supporters of the Skerrit Labour Party (SLP)? Are they PASSPORT SELLERS as well? Are they “moo moo” about you all destruction of Dominica? Are they unconcerned now about good and accountable governance?
    Wicked set of leaders, but it can’t last for ever!!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  14. Lying Politicians
    August 11, 2023

    Dominicans stop make this labor party people continue fooling you all. The Nassiefs and Astaphans have control of these imports And it won’t stop. They will always bring in their vegetables for there supermarket

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • Let's Face It
      August 12, 2023

      Just like they never stopped plastic bags, now they even selling aplastic bag for 25cents, what law. Can’t stop the people that make those huge political contributions.

  15. Mike
    August 11, 2023

    “According to him, there is no reason why any Dominican should buy imported watermelon in Dominica” shows how ignorant the PM and all his stooges are. Imported produce is produced year-round in vast greenhouses, enjoying economies of scale. Dominican produce is seasonal and grown by smallholdings that can’t compete on price. All that happens when you introduce tarrifs is that you make the cost of living higher – and it’s already beyond the pockets of many Dominicans. Politicians are full of wind and just talk nonsense because that’s far easier than actually trying to understand the subject and doing something practical and long-term.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

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