Minister for Agriculture, Matthew Walter, is of the opinion that the mindset toward agriculture in Dominica needs to change.
Speaking at the launch of a program geared at providing technical support to farmers affected by the December 24th storm, Walter further stated that the private sector’s interest in agriculture is not visible.
“We do not see the interest of the private sector in investing in agriculture,” he pointed out. “I think we must stop giving lip service to agriculture, we must begin to tell the people and to show the people that agriculture is vital to any economy, that agriculture can make and build good families. We have to begin to change the mindsets.”
According to him, the Division of Agriculture must implement measures to ensure that farmers are up to date with what is needed to control pest and diseases. He noted the division must also ensure that farmers exercise the relevant cultural practices which will ensure that they (farmers) increase production which in turn will bring about profits.
“The transformation of the agricultural sector is contingent on the collaborative effort of our partners, the stakeholders and the farming community,” he remarked.
He added further that benefits through agriculture will only come about if it is planned well.
“People must understand that agriculture is a business just as any other commercial activity that you were doing,” Matthew stated. “People have to understand that agriculture is a science and they have to begin to employ scientific principles and methodologies to ensure that we achieve productivity to increase production and to be able to compete at all levels.”