Walter expresses optimism in agriculture industry

Agriculture Minister Matthew Walter

(DNO) Minister responsible for Agriculture Matthew Walter has expressed optimism in the possibility of revamping the agriculture industry which he is convinced could lead to reductions in poverty.

Walter, who spoke at a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between the government of Dominica and Venezuela to commence works on a coffee plant at the Ministry of Housing press room, said this potential revival could also provide opportunities of employment for many youth.

“…I am very optimistic that that can happen,” Walter said.

“Certainly we must never forget that agriculture can be used as a vehicle that can transform the economic landscape of this country. I’m certain that all of us around this table here are convinced that this is a practical thing that can happen. To reduce unemployment in this country, and to reduce drastically poverty in this country,” Walter said.

“…To provide this enabling environment where investors are attracted to this country. So that many of the young people that are leaving school on an annual basis especially at the State College, can fit comfortably in agriculture oriented employment. Whether you talking about forestry, fisheries, whether you’re talking about crop production and the forward and backward linkages,” the minister said.

Walter reiterated that agriculture could centrally contribute to a turnaround in the economy.

The minister said that the signing of the MOU this morning is one step forward to that achievement.

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  1. say sa
    June 1, 2010

    Mr dodds don’t take this personal but u-2-maj-ee and full of ur self. really and truly agriculture, according to the minister, may not be the actual way to shoot out from poverty into oblivium. However it is definitely much bigger than a stepping stone, my dear sir in order to have coffee, chocolate, fruit, and banana/plantain chips processing plants, there is one main ingredient that needs to be present. can you guess? yup its food, and food = agriculture. Agriculture goes more than just food, in fact if we look at horticulture for example, isn’t that another branch of agriculture? definitely my boy. so what are we left with na? well we can educate our people and let them know that the best job isn’t dressing a tie and working at the bank, and also that agriculture is only for the un-educated, but actually is as equally important as the banker. so what am i saying? well i’m saying lets help each other remove the mental block against agriculture being a job for the un-educated, and lets embrace agriculture. hey besides food must sell , we’ve got a world to feed. .

  2. Shut Up!!
    May 29, 2010

    And Nassief New Supermarket on the River Bank next to the Roseau Market in allow to import Vegetables? How are the farmers are going to compete? Why Nassief didnt buy from the local farmers?

    • Poor Matthew
      May 30, 2010

      I wonder if Matthew has the slightest idea of what is really going.

      • thunder horse
        May 30, 2010

        When you see dominicans don’t like a person, you can pull out your gutttts for them and they will still hate you.

        Matthew, they cannot do half of what you doing, so all of them can go to ++++++

  3. thunder horse
    May 29, 2010

    DOMINICANS ARE TOO LAZY, We do not want to plant anymore, I support Minister Walter, but he needs the backing of his lazy people in Dominica to get up of their tooshes and go to the fields and stop talking, we criticise everything that good people trying to do.

    and if China and Venezuela wants to help us then, let them do just that, because we not getting it from the might USA nor from our Caribbean neighbors.


    • Guy you do not make any sense, a coffee processing plant is an excellent idea, we should look into more areas like that; we should process our coconut the same as other country’s are doing.

      Barbados, do not have any coconut plantation, iv’ e never seen a coconut tree in Barbados, yet here in Los Angeles Califorina, I am buying Barbados Coconut Rum.

      I am buying plantain chips, just as I would buy potato chips.

      When people like you come out with such foolish comments, that gives the Walters of this world a reason to maintain the status quo, any body who wants to depend on agriculture as their main source of employment, should perhaps take himself/herself back into the fourteenth century.

      Backwards, mind, and backward people settle for the same old things all the while. You can plant as much bananas as you want, you will only end-up eating it!

      You are calling people lazy, where have you been?

      Are you an idiot?

      You will remain poor for the rest of your life, or you will indulge in the illegal cultivation of cannabis, and you will end in jail, in the process, by subsidizing the money you make from planting bananas, with druge money.

      If you agree with Walter, that agriculture will end poverty in Dominica, then both of you are the same ” short vision,” both of you cannot see any further than the length of your nose.

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • dominican
        May 31, 2010

        Isn’t agro-processing is part of the “agricultural industry”?

        i think you need to brush up on your comprehension skills…

        n you even want to call people idiot?

    • May 31, 2010

      Who the hell is mr. to call people lazy. We are hard working people . Not every thing that people

      throw down your throat , that you have to absorb it like a “poliicalistic” boomboom fly.

  4. sum fing wrong
    May 29, 2010

    when this minister speaks, I think this minister does not have a clue of what he is talking about . in last seven years all they have done is begging from venezula and china.With all the millions of dollars all they have created is begging culture in dominica rather then bulding self sustainablity and a pride to the dominicans.. they are bulding some roads and housing revolution and playing politic with that moneyand fertilizer. under him the agriculture has suffered the most might be sufferd the most in the history of dominica. That will his legacy . MY DEAR MINISTER U HAVE TO PUT THE AGRI PROCESSING PLANTS OF FOOD AND FRUITS ALLREADY WE HAVE NOT TO GO AND PLANT COFFE HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GROW THE PLANTS FOR IT TO BARE THE COFFE.DO YOU KNOW WHO IS THE LARGEST GROWER OF COFFE IN THE WORLD IT IS COLOMBIA CAN WE COMPETE AGAINST THEM NOT EVEN VENEZULA CAN DO THAT. MY GOD TALK SENCE. And atalp talking SHI………..

  5. only
    May 29, 2010

    Dominica must diversify what crops it has for export in order to be successful economically. Everybody produces bananas.

  6. Poor farmer
    May 28, 2010

    Minister Walter just spews all kinds of words contrary to what now obtains. If he is so convinced that the Agriculture Industry could lead to reductions in poverty, why is Agriculture in that miserable state? Production has reached its lowest. Farmers are leaving their farms in droves, many are selling their land and migrating. Farmers who remain in Agriculture their confidence have been badly destroyed.

    The Minister has failed to ensure food security in those respects. The situation is so bad that people contend that were it not for the Haitians we would be in big trouble for farm labour to produce food and availability of local food. Food prices have skyrocketed. Just general empty statements? How would unemployment reduce? What plans are there to boost agriculture? What activities and programmes are in place? The building of a coffee plant in Portsmouth is not the priority project that will revamp Agriculture. Much more need to be done. Stakeholders are not au courant with what the Minster and Ministry of Agriculture are engaged in.

    Look at the hundreds of tons of mango wasting this year again. Even a micro agro-precessing plant would be better advised and serve Dominica much more. For decades the population have been begging for such a facility to process our fruits and add value to those crops. In fact, Mr. Minister it was Chavez who mentioned that Dominica needed a coffee plant and before you knew it, before any consultation with stakeholders including farmers or serious thought, the Minister and his Ministry run and accept.. Were it not for pressure from the public and environmentalists, it’s the same way the Govt would blindly accept building an oil refinery in the Nature Isle also.

    Some suggestions: Urgently needed is a comprehensive land Use plan where we identify good agricultural lands; put vast acreages of land into production; incentives for farmers and farming enterprises; subsidizing agriculture; increased training; market development and access; irrigation projects for farms; early teaching about and appreciation for agriculture in schools – revisit school garden concept and practice; more finance injected into agriculture; better and more consistent media programmes, regarding agriculture and the important benefits of farming; and greater, more focused, positive response to the motto of “GROWING WHAT WE EAT AND EATING WHAT WE GROW.’ BUT MOST OF ALL DOMINICA NEED A COMPETENT, QUALIFIED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE. THE SOONER THE BETTER FOR THE SAKE OF THIS BLESSED LAND.

  7. Only Observing.
    May 28, 2010

    Mr Walter, have you no shame? You as a minister have done nothing for the agricultural sector but talk. The Agricultural Sector has disappeared under your watch, in fact it is dead and buried. When one visits the Ministry of Agriculture in the Botanic Gardens, the place is almost like a ghost town. The people who have remained are trying to work against the odds. The morale is very low there sir or have you been to busy to notice?

    Agriculture is more than just playing politics – that is all this government is doing. I am so disappointed in the performance of this government as it relates to the agricultural sector. I don’t think that agriculture is high on the agenda of this government, I would like them to prove me wrong. I am not talking about the CHOSEN farmers who were repaid after election.

    Mr Walter you can barely manage agriculture as it is, do you think that with the coffee industry you will be able to take us to the next level?

    Like you sir, I am a farmer. I do not depend on government to give me inputs for my farm, but I would like to be able to expand an improve my farm without having to kiss up to you or some other politicians. It really pains me to see the depth that agriculture has sunk to. Stop talking Mr Minister and start acting. My eyes are on you sir.

  8. Walter, my intent here is not to take away anything, from you, nor do I intend to contradict your opinions, however, I do not care how much you spend in the process of ,or in the encouragement of ” revamping” the agricultural industry in Dominica, your efforts will not succeed in the elimination of poverty in our country.

    Any nation on earth which depended on agriculture to eliminate poverty in their country, has failed miserably!

    You have the entire former communist block, lead by the Russia, seconded by China, we saw, and are still seeing great poverty in Cuba, all as a result of the dependency on Agriculture.

    Even China has shifted its agricultural based economy to the industrialization of the country, as a result, China has become the biggest lender to the Great United States.

    The Russians also have chosen the industrialization path, as a result, there are more millionaires in Russia in the twenty-first century than in time in Russia’s history.

    If you had the opportunity to drive across America, as I have done, you may have seen thousands of Farms out of business. Farming is not a profitable venture in the twenty-first century. If your idea is to continue the planting of Bananas, then I suggest you abandon secondary education, or education for that matter in our country.

    These days children do not go to school with their only prospect after graduating high school is going to work on the banana plantation with their parents, or becoming a civil servant.

    And even if you were to get people to plant more bananas, the quantity will not generate quality.


    The farm lands in Dominica have been farmed for more than sixty years, without resting, thus all the nutrients in the Farm land has depleted. Scientifically, after a portion of land is cultivated for a period of seven years, that parcel of land should be rested ( remain uncultivated ) for a period of seven years.

    That is not only a scientific fact, it is also a Biblical fact.

    Rested for seven years, that gives the land the opportunity to recover, or regenerate a new supply of nutrients which it will need to produce for another seven years.

    Unless that Biblical, and scientific principal is followed, no matter how much fertilizer you spread on the land, your yell will be no greater, than if you planted without fertilization.

    I am not suggesting that we cut off our agricultural produce entirely , since some of it is needed for our daily staples.

    However, If you truly believe that the ” revamping of the agricultural” industry will eliminate poverty in Dominica, I must ask you how come there are so many poverty stricken people in our country?

    If you can point out to me one single person in Dominica who became a millionaire, by working on a farm planting bananas, I will point out more than half of Dominica who work on their farm all of their natural life’s, and are still walking bare feet in our country.

    You do not have to look very far; all you have to do is visit the Villages, of Marigot, Wesley, and Woodford Hill, and you will understand what I am talking about.

    I have no problems with the coffee scenario, but, I wonder how many people will make a living by it. Whereas it may be a good thing, we need to focus our attention beyond that.

    I suggest the industrialization rout!

    Every Dominican child who finishes high school these days are looking forward to a collage education. The masters degree, and Ph.D., degrees these days come to most Dominicans at ten cents per dozen, are you going to encourage people with that kind of intelligence, and background to go and buy a Fork, Hoe, and Cutlass ( machete), and then introduce them to a banana plant?

    Come on man, be realistic!

    Our seventy year old citizens, as well as our youth’s deserve better than you are offering, or suggesting. An agricultural based economy is domed to failure.

    Cuba our neighboring island is an excellent example.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Sout Man
      May 29, 2010

      Yes, Mr. Walter, listen to Francisco. Open up the steel processing plants, the gold and aluminium mines and the extraction of diamonds. Travelling across the United States will certainly help you, Mr. Minister. While you are there, turn a blind eye to the trailer parks (“manufactured homes”) and the 50% of the population below the poverty line. Do not visit the inner-city ghettoes and back alleys; only drive along the highways and metro rails. Stick with the 1% of the population who amass over 50% of all the wealth. Listen up Sir, and learn from the best; F Dodds.

    • Moron!!
      May 29, 2010

      Dodds is a moron. All he does is chat a whole bunch of garbage and convince himself he is some kind of intellectual.

      • In spite of the garbage you spewed, I do not exist in poverty, in the event my thinking was as backward as yours, and the one who said Walter, should open up the gold mines, and what have you, I would probably at this moment be begging you for a handout.

        For your information, I do not believe that I am an intellectual, I know that I am as smart as they come, indeed I am smatter than you or your friend who want Walter to open Dominica’s gold mind.

        Some of us are so ignorant, no matter how simple one makes the argument, we are not even capable of understanding what we read.

        Let me tell you, whereas, I stayed in university, and collage long enough, to acquire four (4) scientific degrees: two Bachelors in Science, in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, along with an Associate in Science in Electronics, compounded with an Associate in Arts, in the Liberal Arts, I am convinced that I am very, very, smart.

        If you think I am an idiot, or just betting my lips, go and major in the disciplines that I majored in let’s see if you can succeed where I succeed. As the saying goes ” put your money where your mouth is!”

        In this case I suggest you put your will, brain, and your ability to the test, let’s see if your mouth only get you to where I’ve been, and where I am.

        I did not major in child development, so I cannot help you, however if you need some psychological therapy, I can assist you with that since I was also educated in the field of psychology.

        In any event, I do not need your kind to judge my intelligence.

        Whatsoever I profess; that I am, I can back it up anytime of the day, or in the darkest hour of the night.

        Some of us are endowed with knowledge; some of us believe owning a Computer, and writing crap, criticizing other people who knows what they are talking about makes them smart, but, that’s not how it works.

        You are either someone who knows how to use commonsense, or you are academically, and scholastically educate, or you are illiterate, or an idiot!

        Mind you there are people who can read, and are yet illiterate.

        Based on your comments, I feel safe to draw the conclusion that both of you are nothing more than two ” nobody.”

        You two are so ignorant, you talk about people living below poverty level in the United States, even if I can agree with that, I would like to inform you that there are people in America who’s welfare cheque is more than Walter is making as a government minister per month in Dominica.

        So, you guy’s need to shut your mouth.

        I rent to people who’s rent is subsidize by the State of Califorina, and the Federal Government, in some cases, the amount subsidizes for some people is more than two thousand dollars per month.

        Yes, the state pays me more than two thousand dollars for some of the people who’s rent they, subsidizes, those are people on welfare, not government ministers, and I tell what, some of them drive more expensive cars, than Walter’s drive at the moment.

        So much so for people living below the poverty level in America.

        So again; shut your mouth, you are both full of it.

        You are no more than a couple of windbags!

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

        • Lillie
          May 31, 2010

          Bachelors alone? Associate degree? That you bragging about….awah Francisco that doesn’t count, by 2010 educational standards, you’re obsolete man!….You mean all this time I thought you had at least a masters in something….. According to one of your previous posts these degrees are a dime a dozen….everybody has a few bachelors these days, so almost every Dominican is as smart as you profess to be. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt, and believing that you actually possess those degrees, from reputable accredited institutions,….because some people print these things off of the internet….. whilst other start the program, flunk out and still claim to have attained the degree…hope neither pertains to you!

          On another note, brilliant people do not feel the need to continously prove their brilliance, as you seem to be so keen on doing….so take it easy, if you truly feel that you are intelligent then no need to take on everyone who objects, no need to validate yourself repeatedly on DNO! That doesn’t shed any positive light on the state of your sanity, nor does it make you appear to be endowed with much intelligence….and for crying out loud, stop with these long rants! It make you appear to be a petulant child….or worse an incorrigible ass!

          • If I lied and claim that I have a Masters in something, you would still find something to criticize, now tell me how many degrees do you have?

            And in what discipline?

            And also tell me how many Dominican can say they have accomplished what I the kid from Wesley has accomplished.

            I did not get a Dominica government Scholarship, I did not get any grant, or student loans from the United States, government, or the British Government.

            Wherever I attend school, I had to work, and also attend classes, and ensure that I paid my way through collage in the first instant, and University in the interim.

            Absolete, I think you are more absolete than I am you run off your mouth, but there is no way I can check and find out who you are, my name accompany’s everything that say through my writing, and both I and my words can be authenticated, thus my credentials can also be verified!

            Whoever you are, be informed, I am not competing in the job market, and never will for the rest of my life.

            For your information, I retired at 47 years old, my academics assured that.

            It gave me the ability to sit at home and make more money in one year, than perhaps you will make in your entire life working for people.

            And if it ever gets to a point where I need to work, all I have to do is return to School take four units in organic chemistry, completing my prerequisite for medical, go four more years, obtain a medical degree, and commence practicing medicine!

            I have already passed the test to enter medical school, (six years ago), the only reason I am not a practicing medical doctor, is that when they checked my prerequisite, they discover I was missing that four units of chemistry, I was told I cannot be invited to attend classes until I completed the requirements.

            So, you guys’ have nothing to tell me okay, if you are trying to compete with me or try to humiliate me in some way, you have already lost the battle. Francisco Telemaque is not a fake or a lire, what you see is what you get!

            I do not have a masters degree, in anything, However, my niece, the daughter of my sister Bernie Telemaque, graduated in New Jersey at the end of this semester with a masters degree in biology, so what I fail to accomplish she has accomplished, and that makes me very proud of her, at lease she was born in Wesley, a few short years ago, less than twenty-one years old, and has accomplished what your kind yearn’s for.

            Be quiet man, you are a looser.

            Do not argue over what I do not have, think about what you do not have, and if you believe degrees are easy to come by, try to get some and see how successful you are!

            Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

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    • Versatile
      May 31, 2010

      @ Francisco

      I am appalled at your ignorance regarding the impact Agriculture can have on the economic growth of our country, once this sector is properly finance and managed. One also has to realize that Agriculture is DIVERSE…My advice to you is to check out the syllabus of Agriculture and get your self educated

      • Well, suggesting that I am ignorant does not make you a genius anyway, because if you believe that agriculture will eliminate poverty in Dominica, I can referrer you to Cuba, China, the former Communist states of Eastern Europe, and Russia.

        What you will find is that they held on to the idea of an agriculture based economy which ultimately failed, thus assisting in the rapid downfall of communism in recent years.

        You are close to Cuba, take a good look, you will find that the Cubans have decided to allow Canadian, and European company’s to do business in Cuba, and these foreign people who are in Cuba setting up business at this immediate moment are not agriculturist.

        The Chines were masters, of planting rice, and other agricultural products, we find these days they no longer concentrate on agriculture to sustain their economy. They have industrialized their country, thus becoming one of the wealthiest nation on earth.

        Do not take my words for it do some research, and prove me wrong, then you can call me ignorant, otherwise you seems more ignorant than I am.

        If I take you to South America, where Company’s such as Dole, who own and operated those vast agricultural plantations, they also have ran into trouble. Remember they were seeking the monopoly on the sale of bananas in England, and the entire European market for that matter?

        They have suddenly given up that quest!

        Maybe you should ask yourself why?

        I know the reason, and it is as simple as this, the cultivation and sale of bananas is no longer a profitable venture. If agriculture could indeed eliminate poverty in Dominica, there would not have a single poor person in Dominica, and surly I would have a plantation in operation somewhere in the mountains of Wesley.

        If you care you can revamp the banana industry however, that will not make a difference in the life’s of those who will sweet, and labor on the cultivation.

        People have cultivated bananas for more than sixty years, in our country, and Dominica remains one of the poorest island in the Caribbean.

        Careful study of the most progressive islands in the Caribbean, and the most developed will prove they have no agricultural plantations , their people are not faced with the kind of suffering that people in Dominica confronts everyday.

        If you believe in agriculture, go for it, work yourself to death, my ambition for Dominica extends beyond agriculture.

        This is the twenty-first century.

        Perhaps what you learn from the following will give you a bit of vision, and you will not be so eager to call people ignorant when you are less intelligent than they.


        The industrialization of a country is the process by which societies are transformed from the dependence on agriculture and handmade products to an emphasis on manufacturing and related industries. This process occurred first during the Industrial Revolution in Britain between 1760 and 1850, and soon was repeated throughout Western Europe.

        By the mid-nineteenth century, industrialization was well under way in the United States.

        Massive economic, technological, and social changes occurred as machine technology, and the factory system shifted the economic base of these nations from agriculture to manufacturing. A new social class of industrialists emerged in textiles, iron smelting, and related industries.

        Many people who had labored on the land were forced to leave their tightly knit rural communities, and sacrifice well-defined social relationship to seek employment as factory workers in the emerging cities, which became the centers of industrial work.

        I’ll leave here for the moment, ponder on that, and ask yourself, am I an idiot, or does Francisco Telemaque knows what he is babbling about.

        When you answer your question, and you wish to open the a can of worms, I advise you to go unto my site sign on and let us debate agriculture and the backwardness of our country, I would not like to debate this on DNO.

        If you would like to return to the days of hunters and gathers, do it alone, but give the youths of Dominica a chance for a better life!

        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

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