Dominica signs MOU with Serbia to improve the island’s agriculture

Agriculture Minister Reginald Austrie. File photo

Agriculture Minister Reginald Austrie has said Prime Minister Roosevelt has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Serbia to improve and modernize Dominica’s agricultural sector.

In an interview with DBS Radio, Austrie said our agricultural sector has been producing the same goods for the last 40 years.

“The last time our agriculture sector received a big boost was Hurricane David, 40 years ago and a lot of things have changed and if our market conditions in Dominica have in fact changed, then we’ve been producing the same type of goods, products under the same condition for the last 40 years,” he said.

“And what the Prime Minister is referring to is that we signed a contract with Serbia,” Austrie continued. “We are going to move in a lot of greenhouse farming… a lot of aquaculture, were going to move in a lot of aquaponics. It really is the production of fresh fruits and vegetables under different conditions which will not be impacted by the change in the climatic weather.”

He said in order to keep in line with international bodies, and the new hotels and markets within the agricultural sector in the entire Caribbean region needs to be transformed.

Austrie further stated that this initiative will bring many benefits Dominica’s local market.

“Serbia is a country that has done quite a lot of work in terms of modernization in the agricultural sectors and the agreement the prime minister signed was to have them come in and sign an MOU with them and assist us in transforming the agricultural sector,” he stated.

The Agriculture Minister said the MOU will be “good news“ in terms of Dominica’s ability to continue to feed its residents.

“With this 5-star hotel, there’s no telling the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that is required on a daily basis. If we have to rely on going out there in the rain and the sun to produce those products were maybe at a disadvantage and so in an effort to take advantage of these new and emerging markets both locally and regionally, we have to modernize our agriculture.”

Austrie said this will assist the aging farmer population and the young people that are interested in agriculture and ensure better food security.

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  1. victim
    June 13, 2019

    Yes an MOU in ethnic cleansing… like how all u transfer people black is white in the government service…

    You forgot it was an election year ?
    Well we have not !

    Hope you will like the mou of elections !

  2. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pmapers
    June 12, 2019

    I will give Reggie credit for one fact, “For the last 40 years, our agricultural output on island has remained stagnant.” That being said, why do we consistently associate ourselves with countries who have major problems with Democracy and the rule of law? Maybe it’s because we ourselves have the same issue. I would like to see these Memorandum of Understandings MOUs be made public so that we the Dominican citizenry can attest for ourselves, exactly what’s in them. Obviously, those who are in a much higher pay grade than me, decided that would be a bad idea.

  3. Ibo France
    June 12, 2019

    What I have learnt about Skerrit, Austrie and their other colleagues, they feast on the ignorance and credulity of their supporters. Most of their apologists just swallow wholesale whatever these reprobates dish out. So Skerrit and his deplorables continue to make promises that they have no intention of keeping. The people are mere pawns in their political game. Politics is just a sport to them. The wellbeing of the people is of little or no concern until an election draws nigh. Dominica will forever remain in the buttocks position of the sub-region if this corrupt, ultra selfish and uncaring, loveless oligarchy remains in power fraudulently.

  4. Rebecca V. Musgrave
    June 12, 2019

    The Bible said to do every thing without complaining. Jehovah says work for me. Jesus says follow me I will make you fishers of men.
    Jesus died so we can LIVE. Let us all LIVE and share and share and share. Get educated in all Dominica needs and go home and share and share and share. Knowledge is power when we use it to elevate ALL Jehovah God’s Sons and Daughters all over the World all over His World.
    Those who have need to GIVE GIVE GIVE

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      June 12, 2019

      Rebecca what on earth are you trying to convey?
      I don’t see any connection in what you said, and the rubbish Austrie came with giving praises to Roosevelt about signing some dumb agreement with as they say Serbia.
      The whole thing is a useless ploy!
      The plants which grows in Serbia may never grow in Dominica, Bananas do not grow in Serbia unless they are grown in a green house.

      In Serbia the things they grow are seasonal.You are way outside of the topic, and even most of the things you are presenting about God, seems to be your philosophy.I’ll tell you how I know:

      The reason I know is because this kid when I came to the United and decide to go to Church, everyone I attended; I discover it was all about sex, and money.

      I was invited to a Kingdom Hall as you all call your building place of worship.

      Studied their doctrines more than five years, but never heard the nonsense you speak!

  5. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    June 12, 2019

     I don’t see how climate factors are different! 
     In 2014, agriculture accounted for 9.1% of Serbian GDP, compared to the EU 27 average of 2%. Agriculture is one of the most important export sector in Serbia, accounting for approximately 21% of all Serbian exports and enjoying a surplus of US$ 1.30 billion in 2014.
    In 2014, Serbia’s total agro-food imports from the United States were US$30.2 million, almost the same as last year.
    U.S. agro-food exports consisted mainly of almonds, tobacco, corn and vegetable planting seeds, dietetic foods and concentrated proteins without dairy fats, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, frozen fish, snacks and dry fruits.
    The Serbian climate is between a continental climate in the north, with cold winters, and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall patterns, and a more Adriatic climate in the south with hot, dry summers and autumns and rank daily average relatively cold winters with heavy inland snowfall.

    Dominica is tropical year…

  6. free
    June 11, 2019

    This Government has to GO people..Time to VOTE THEM OUT. They are worthless

  7. Flat Tire
    June 11, 2019

    But where dem fellas does find dem countries there nuhh. I suspect them man looking for countries to seek asylum after they lose. I hope they bring gee Joseph with them

  8. dissident
    June 11, 2019

    I am doing my research austrie:
    Serbia agriculture accounts for 21% of the labour force eh.
    agricultural products include wheat, corn, soya, sunflower, vegetables and sugar beet.
    I notice that de minister did not mention ANY agricultural product for focus.
    No greenhouse product like peppers nor ANY mention of ANY aquaculture products for focus like salmon, tilapia etc.

    this man is too heavy to float on a straw…….alas poor him

    • Shaka zulu
      June 11, 2019

      See how easy info is to get. Our people choose to stay ignorant. The Caribbean noted for agriculture education and lawyers. When i went to sifocol techcol existed and housed our main agriculture Institute. Where have all these folks gone? What is our education worth that we have not used according to Austrie for 40 years, 25 of which he was in government. This labour party government has done everything possible to treat Dominicans and Caribbean citizens as incapable fools. He was in rally ridiculing his opponent who talked about beach renourishment an engineering practice done in all tourism reliant countries. A procedure much needed in his constituency. You throw a mango seed in Dominica it grows. But he here talking about growing fruits using aquaponics without knowing what he talking about. Then again you bring a pitbull to a banquet dress it like a man it still remains a pitbull. I am ashamed to tell people this is a leader in my country.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      June 12, 2019

      You see they are so ignorant; they forget this is a small; very small world since the advent of the Internet.
      He thinks when he runs his mouth of about signed memorandum, everybody would have swallowed his pill, big deal about Serbia.
      We don’t know  where Serbia that is; only Roosevelt and Austrie knows!
      Economy – overview:

      Serbia has a transitional economy largely dominated by market forces, but the state sector remains significant in certain areas.
      The economy relies on manufacturing and exports, driven largely by foreign investment.

      MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of international economic sanctions, civil war, and the damage to Yugoslavia’s infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy worse off than it was in 1990.

      In 2015, Serbia’s GDP was 27.5% below where it was in 1989.

    • Pipo
      June 12, 2019

      In return for the Serbians teaching us how to grow wheat, peaches and plums Reggie Austria can send them his experts to teach the Serbians how to grow bananas and dasheen I suppose, so they can sell that to their friends in Russia.

  9. Same story
    June 11, 2019

    After 2 decades they are still trying to figure it out. How more depressing can this ish get?
    And yet dcans arent getting the point. Sad.

  10. Head in the sand
    June 11, 2019

    “The last time our agriculture sector received a big boost was Hurricane David, 40 years ago” WRONG !! What about 15 MILLION Euros from the EU (2013-2018). And what did this government do with it ???

    • %
      June 11, 2019

      Excellent point!!!

    • Neville
      June 12, 2019

      …and what about the money that got distributed by Skerrit and Austrie to all those phantom farmers, that did not even have a piece of land to farm on but instead are loyal to government.

  11. foreign observer
    June 11, 2019

    Another democracy-challenged regime feather in your chapeau, Dominica. Felicitations. Knowing both Serbia and Dominica (traveled to and worked in both), I am having real difficulty in comprehending how greenhouses in a climate naturally gifted with all of the factors greenhouse agriculture seeks to achieve is required. Unless, of course, there’s some sort of scheme involving passports in exchange for building said greenhouses. And hydroponics/ aquaculture requiring the diversion of water resources into ponds and other bodies of calm water, in a land of flooding and disease-carrying mosquitoes that breed in such circumstances beggars belief. So, really, what’s in it for Serbia? Others have already pointed out the obvious answer…RandyX has said it best.

  12. Watching
    June 11, 2019

    More MOU mand more labourites moomoo..sort for sot

  13. REAL!!!!
    June 11, 2019

    This is laughable …..We don’t have proper establish markets and proper farm road access that is why the farmers are NOT producing.

    So if what Serbia MOU is bringing is the opportunity to show us how to plant for climate resilience that still does not solve the problem of low production which is as a result of minimal markets to sell produce and poor farm access roads.

    These gentlemen in GOVT are taking our people for FOOLS ….Just say is passport you all are seeing in Serbia or Medical University in the Sky.

    They are not interesting in FARMERS…….If so we would have heard 3 things :
    1. Markets, 2. Markets and 3. Markets.

  14. UKDominican
    June 11, 2019

    Mr. Austria is seriously out of depth here. Serbia is not exactly a leading light in agricultural development. I suspect this is more of a side-benefit, to do with Skerrit’s visit to Belgrade on 4 Feb. of this year when he confirmed Dominica’s decision to withdraw our recognition of Kosovo’s independence, the first country in the Caribbean to do so. This followed a visit to Dominica by the deputy P.M. of Serbia on 2 Nov. 2018 when he met with Skerrit and Francine Baron. Our P.M. appears to be free with signing away other peoples’ right to self-determination, is this what we use our seat at the U.N. for? I trust the benefits, especially the personal ones if there any, are worth it Roosevelt.


    • Spot on
      June 12, 2019

      Hit the nail on the head.

      Step 1: Agree to support Serbian/Russian position on Kosovo.
      Step 2: Serbia agrees to provide money to Dominica in exchange for the political support.
      Step 3: Through government contracts the money is misappropriated and ultimately funneled to corrupt government officials.
      Step 4: Use corruption money for personal benefit and to fund reelection campaigns.
      Step 5: Repeat cycle.

      End result: Continued national decline and political alienation in the international arena.

  15. weh
    June 11, 2019

    Were still waiting to see the MOU that your govt signed with China, don’t think we have forgotten.

  16. RandyX
    June 11, 2019

    Serbia since the fall of the Soviet Union is less known for agriculture but rather for war crimes during and after the Bosnian war. After years of negotiations with the EU they are still not a member and a lot of this delay is due to the fact that the country is still harbouring some of these war criminals. I think the Skerrit MOU with them has got more to do with passport selling rather than agricultural know how. One thing is for sure, Dominica would not want to be home to any of the war criminals from there! They are ruthless bandits. Somehow Skerrit seems to find these people…!

  17. Frank N Stein
    June 11, 2019

    Everyday Reggie Austrie shows the people how dunce he is. This is the man who said calcium will kill the fishes in the sea. He tried to make fun of beach restoration of which he knows nothing, This man is an embarassment and was only voted because no other party ever really contested the seat. Freedom Party was on the decline and Carbon was messing around so they voted Reggie, no other option. Since then UWP has had little to no representation in the constituency until MARCUS! This is why Reggie is contwayay, he is actually scared or the little Marco Shame on you Reggie with your MOU you should just keep your MOUth SHUT!

    • Voice of Reason
      June 11, 2019

      I am deeply saddened, to the point of embarrassed, by the words the minister utters! This is our Minister of Agriculture…..he comes across as clueless, out of touch, inept.
      I often wondered why the Prime Minister represents/speaks for the entire government – he speaks about Education, Immigration, Housing, Tourism, etc and the Ministers, who are assigned responsibility for the various Ministerial portfolios remain mute. If that’s the manner in which they represent the government vis a vis Austrie, we are not a democratic country, we are an autocracy! What an embarrassment.

  18. %
    June 11, 2019

    One thing these two comics, Skerrit and Austrie like the term MOU eh!! N
    Remember the one with China. Austrie said they negotiated 19 hours on the trot…Quick Quack!! We never saw that MOU.. Now the very same clowns have gone to Serbia to do the same …
    These idiots need to be voted out!!!!!

    • Toto
      June 11, 2019

      Hey Reggie, I have a double MOU. It is called a moumou.

  19. LifeandDeath
    June 11, 2019

    More superficial Bull. More and more the Gov’t is telling Dominicans that they have done next to nothing for the country.
    Does Reggie realise that half of 40 is 20?..that’s how long they’ve been in office, and to come now and just talk as if they’re now suddenly waking up to get things done, should be ’cause for Dominicans to take them out of office..You fellas are tired. No new Ideas, no comprehensive plan, and worse of all, no real SUSTAINABLE PROGRAMS.

  20. AAA
    June 11, 2019

    Minister of MOU. We have to turn to Siberia for help with our agriculture. After 20 years in power that’s what Dominica has come to.

  21. Shaka zulu
    June 11, 2019

    Yeahhh we going to finally grow apples, grapes, nectarines, figs and peaches. Austrie everything is affected by weather and climate. I dont think you know what aquaponics and aqua culture is. Aquaponics is growing fish prawns etc in home tanks. Hydroponics is growing plants in nutrient rich water. I want to know what kinda fruit trees you going to grow through aquaponics. You guys will say anything that come in mind when election is around the corner once it sounds good. We have the highest amount of agriculturist per capita and cannot develop tropical fruits like mangoes, cashew plume, pineapple, citrus and the list that need no brains to cultivate yet you farting about intensive agri practices, that you dont understand. You guys are a bunch of retards and you would do better selling balaw by the market in possi and making noise for fish.

    • Smh
      June 11, 2019

      I have not laugh this hard in a long time. I read the article and just shook my head. You have pointed out some of the confusing statements that were made by the minister, so I will not repeat.

    • Sugar Cane Selling well in Serbia
      June 11, 2019

      Boy where I be nuh? Reggie and Passport double doctor coolay the whole country. The king say he run things in Dominica. That is a confession that he run Dominica into the ground and the others in his cabinet are mere potted plants that bear no fruits while they watch to down slowly. They cannot speak until Premier of Passports command them to sing at supper time. Next thing they will have us believe Serbia will sell us sugar cane. Dominica has good soil and plenty water but the masters of misdirection want us to go and buy bananas in Belgrade..what baboonery.

  22. Ibo France
    June 11, 2019

    Here we go again for the umpteenth time. Promises are coming in torrents. Mr. Skerrit and his hirelings have no credibility left. The Silly Season is in full swing. There are no international airport in Dominica. Tourists passionately hate to be in transit to get to their destination, much too harassing. Tourism in Dominica will always be grossly underwhelming if an international airport remains just an election gimmick. Dominica once had the most productive agriculture and agro industries in the sub region. As if by magic, both industries have been reduced to nothingness by this clueless, mendicant regime. I always keep this in mind.
    “Governments keep their promises only when they are forced to do so, or when it will be to their advantage. ”
    Nineteen years of foolery is more than enough. The Skerrit-led DLP concoction has long outlasted its usefulness.

  23. LaPlaine Observer
    June 11, 2019

    “The last time our agriculture sector received a big boost was Hurricane David, 40 years ago”. These guys should be ashamed of themselves to make such a statement after being in office for 19 years and not a single thing has been done to improve the agriculture sector in Dominica. Finally, no mention of establishing an export market for our goods, instead he is talking about Hotel. These are the reasons why the DLP must go because they are bankrupt on ideas.

  24. Enough is enough
    June 11, 2019

    Seriously??? And we supposed to put that in our pipe and smoke it. For all long that government will continue to full people?? mOU with Serbia for improvement of our agriculture? What a joke man. First of all , don’t misunderstand me I have nothing against Serbia,but you need a MOU with then to improve our agriculture? What have you done over the past 15 years to improve it. famers have to block the road for you to fix access. And also ,….you telling me that we don’t know how to plant crops?? There is no expert in the region? We do not have top agro- ingenier on island ? Or may be Serbia is good potential to sell passport…..hold your b***ls guy and tell us the truth …at least once.

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