“It is a good start” – PM on farm access road allocation (with audio)

PM Skerrit

“It is a good start,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says in defence of his recent announcement that out of $20 million allocated for road rehabilitation, $2 million would be used for farm access roads.

Critics have labeled this a pittance that won’t help repair the many feeder roads around the country requiring attention.

PM Skerrit has been accused of neglecting the agricultural sector, a position critics argue is underscored by what they discard as an insignificant amount, when what’s required is a more “realistic” sum of about “$200 million”.

However while acknowledging that he would have liked to pump more funds into feeder roads, the prime minister insists that the present economic circumstances make this difficult.

“The road network need more than that too, the river defence need more than that too, the hospital needs more than that too, the schools need more than that too,” PM Skerrit responds to those blasting the $2 million for feeder roads as far from adequate.

“You have a certain amount of money, you have to, as the minister of finance, see how that money can be spread across the country as far and as wide as possible,” he told DNO.

He is convinced that the amount allocated for farm access roads “can in fact impact positively on the farmers”.

“Of course it is an initial amount, we said so – of course we need more than $2 million, but it is a start,” Skerrit said.

Responding to the suggestion that that amount of money might be able to do “only a few feeder roads” the prime minister said the government had to give priority to the country’s major roads that had not been touched in any significant way by past administrations.

He said the government could not depend on the small amount of tax being collected to undertake such projects, and that was why the current foreign policy was crucial in helping the government attract funding for those projects.

Click below for audio of interview

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36 Comments

  1. neutral
    April 18, 2012

    Strange but true. The real productive farmers in my area are so busy producing that they havent got time to talk. Those that bellow are those that have 1 chive plant and saying they are farmers.They just waiting for breeze to blow for them to show officers other FARMERS plots and claim twice what they never had. GOD SEES.

  2. hare
    April 18, 2012

    Many people are not paying taxes in Dominica. Mr pm go after the layers that bilking the country. ; those selling our passports and those making deals with Frenchman. Amen

  3. Country
    April 18, 2012

    Oh My God what a joke! How can you target productive areas first? The reason the other areas are not productive is they have no support, no love what so ever. All I can say is Roots people hold strong plant your food and feed your family. You don’t need the free fertilizer and weed killer. That is poison and this man is poison. And out of order to not even listen to the interviewer speak. He must be aggravated that at the summit, Obama didn’t even know he exists. And ask yourself why is he always on the defence? I have nothing against Labor I liked Pierre Charles but Mr. Awah Oui!

  4. Country
    April 18, 2012

    Don’t fret when you finish kill the farmer you will eat Crix and Bully beef and die with cancer because you have nobody to plant the Ital’s and you have s healthcare. But the Rasta man will survive as he will never abandone the Zion. God speed.

  5. Anonymous
    April 18, 2012

    i thought the 27 million was for the state college and the state palace?

  6. Anonymous
    April 18, 2012

    In poor countries like Dominica a leader just have to do what he feels is right and hell with who see otherwise because that’s the only way you can get things done. When the next election comes if the people disagree they have a say again but for now as far as i see it is all chat. You would paved streets of gold for these poor mentality people and they would still complain. Hence the reasons why that’s so difficult for a few Dominicans to understand. I find very few people brings any sense of reason in the comments especially on the talk shows.

  7. shortboy
    April 18, 2012

    dont forget the mamilton road at moorepark/paixbouche because the diehard labourites thats where they earn there living please skero dont forget us ok!!!

  8. Roseau
    April 18, 2012

    This is the longest speech that I have heard from the PM, and I must say that what I heard from him made alot of sense. He is taking a lemon and is ask to make lemonade. Great Job sir!

  9. April 18, 2012

    TOU LA JOU SA OR MALPALAY.. DOMNICHEN PARKER COHPWAN. FEH BIEN SAY MAL… TOUT SA OU FEH SAY MOVAY POU YO.

    • PROF. WIKILEAKS
      April 18, 2012

      Boug mwen, mwen ka sipotey.

  10. Muslim
    April 18, 2012

    I listened to the audio. Skerrit kept speaking over the interviewer and that was very disrespectful.

    Mr. Skerrit must understand as well that not everyone will agree with him no matter what issue it is, this is just the nature of leadership, you can’t please everyone.

    Yes at times people have differing views, however, an ethical way to address these is to listen attentively to what each other says then to disagree rationally and ethically.

    Have you ever heard a world leader speak over an interviewer?

    • What the?
      April 21, 2012

      Most world leaders don’t have interviewers with agendas. the don’t allow it.

      The questions are faxed through and then vetted. NOTHING out of what the leaders want to be asked is asked.

      THAT is why you don’t hear other leaders talking over anyone. Not because they are polite.

      Really there are worse things to worry about.

  11. CIA on the watch
    April 18, 2012

    Dominicans need to take a close look at when and if thet access road program starts who are the persons benefiting, look out for the party supporters in the various constituencies

    • PROF. WIKILEAKS
      April 18, 2012

      And so what…what is the big deal here…how is that an issue

  12. Jane
    April 18, 2012

    Thank God for our PM. We want to say great job , but because is MR PM the critics will say anything insted of the truth.We must learn to say THANKS.Give thanks in thick and thin. Just give thanks.

  13. hare
    April 18, 2012

    It’s a start “!!. So what happen the engine was without a starter or a battery for 10the years. That is laughable when you did not hesitate to waste 27 million on a malice

    • e-manicou
      April 18, 2012

      when you go to the bank and ask for money to buy a car, do you take that money and build a house with it?

  14. Reason
    April 18, 2012

    The well surfaced feeder roads of the 1960s to 1980s were financed by the banana industry (export tax on banana shipments) and by the British Government.All that is now gone.

    Farmers are exempt from paying income tax. So its you office workers and people in the commercial sector whose tax will have to pay for the feeder roads now.And for which farmers? The average age of a farmer now is 60. Any graduates of state college planting crops? A handfull.And for what market?

    When you prepare to run your mouth, think of the bigger picture.

  15. To feed the people
    April 18, 2012

    The present global economic situation did not prevent Skerritt from taking a $27,000,000.00 loan to build a State Palace? The economic situation is also grim for those employed, much less for those who are unemployed. Yet, although Dominicans have to pay back that loan, the authorities awarded the contract to the Chinese to build that State Palace. Local construction cos. and workers have been sidelined.
    Did Skerritt and his DLP Govt. listen to the people? Not for a minute.

    Tens of thousands of $$$$$$$$ of our money went to renovating a certain Entertainment venue. But serious investment in Agriculture, a sector that could ensure our food security and earn revenue for the country, is blatantly neglected.

    The economic situation did not prevent Govt. from taking the people’s money, thousands of dollars, for the inaugural night-landing flight? LIAT was chartered, paid a hefty sum, yet LIAT now has problems with landing at Melville Hall at night.

    Dominicans are fed up with those lame excuses, because we see too much wastage. Voodoo economics in practice. Compare the amount for building the State Palace with the amount for feeder roads. In fact, the problem is much bigger. Where is the development plan for our Agriculture? Markets, increasing production, management of the sector is also critical.

    But who cares whether agriculture or the farmers fall on the wayside? The ‘Elite’ class do not care two hoots about those who work hard tilling the soil. Who is advocating on behalf of the poor struggling farmers, the “elite class?” Who is defending the rights of the farmers? Who cares whether they could accesss their farms or not, or to earn a living, to feed their families. Wouldn’t they be more loyal to authorities if they are dependent on handouts? Is that the hidden strategy?

  16. Peeping Tom
    April 18, 2012

    1. Well, who are those «critics», DNO? You would probably find that no matter what the PM does he will never satisfy this same group of «critics».

    2. Yes, the small sum is a «start», a weak one but a start. Question: When do we hear of the sequel? You see, politicians usually speak of «starts» and never actually deliver on the rest. So, the «start» actually becomes the «all».

    3. Mr. PM, frankly, as much as i suspect that the 2 million is a joke, i really do not want you spending my tax dollars repairing feeder roads where the are no farmers. So, be strategic in the use of our limited resources and let the critics eat dirt.

    • Nac Vibes
      April 19, 2012

      What Tax money you talking about, you do hear the man say nobady paying tax in DA.
      One of you lying, WHO?

  17. Bug Her
    April 18, 2012

    With all what you stated we need money for I hope you are seeing the State Palace should have come after them. Just Saying :-|

  18. JIM
    April 18, 2012

    Only in Dominica one can see and hear this madness..This is what happens when those who are incharge of the State’s affairs cannot prioritise.

  19. April 18, 2012

    SKERRIT REALLY AMAZES ME WHEN HE SPEAKS.HE SPENDS $27M TO HOUSE A PRESIDENT AND HIS WIFE,THEN HE SAYS THE PRESENT ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO REPAIR FEEDER ROADS,WHY DONT YOU GET OUT AND LEAVE PEOPLE LIKE EDISON JAMES DELIVER DOMINICA FROM BONDAGE.

    • PROF. WIKILEAKS
      April 18, 2012

      Papamette, he said Edison James…and who, the man with the back pack…and who Danny crygay and who coipel and the linton brothers…alas..well you good where are there on DNO

    • patriot
      April 20, 2012

      HA HA
      EDDO IS IN THE MEADOW
      RON IS DONE
      SPAGGS HAVE NO SPARK

  20. Mujahardin
    April 18, 2012

    Remember ivor told us that Skerrit was given land and Chavez gives him money.
    We hear farmers crying every day about the poor condition of the feeder roads. We are seeing the effect that the poor roads have had on the agriculture sector.
    Skerrit must be the owner of Dominica and worth more than Dominica

    • PROF. WIKILEAKS
      April 18, 2012

      Please speak inteligently…this is not side show Q95 nonsense. This is DNO, we expect elevated thinking.

  21. Dominica_Lover
    April 18, 2012

    I have been happy to see many project taken on by this government, but I most say we need to promote tourism, but we can never stop supporting our farmers. We can develop a well diversify economy in our country that is inclusive of agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. Having all of those gives us a step-up from most Caribbean countries that rely only on tourism. MR. PM we need more of an effort with the roads for the hands that feed us, 2 million sounds like peanuts.

    • PROF. WIKILEAKS
      April 18, 2012

      PM Skerrit has been accused of neglecting the agricultural sector, a position critics argue is underscored by what they discard as an insignificant amount, when what’s required is a more “realistic” sum of about “$200 million”.

      WOW…$200 million…CHINA here we come again…please make sure you gives an MOU for this $200 Million

      Because there are people who are still not going to be happy about that

      Oh and we need hospital and the portsmouth to Marigot road need repairs too and also Soufriere road and we still need the International Airport.

      • PROF. WIKILEAKS
        April 18, 2012

        My comment is too highlight the situation we are in and that we in Dominica need a much more access to capital to finance all what is needed in Dominica.

        And guess what, these sort if financing cannot be derived from loans. And the PM has to be a man of great insight to go out of the main stream and secure grant funding for these projects.

        And he is taking a personal and professional beating for that. SOme will lable him communist/dictator but he has to do what he has to do to build Dominica’s infrastructure. And if you have to be friends with China and Venezuela…so what, what is the big deal.

        So secure as much funding from these countries and lets keep improving Dominica.

  22. laparwol
    April 18, 2012

    past administrations?
    at this stage you shouldnt even mention past administrations.. u have been in power too long to be blaming past administrations.. get it out of your vocab

    • PROF. WIKILEAKS
      April 18, 2012

      2005-2012 Skeritt term in office thus far ; 2008-2012 (worst economic crisis we have ever witnessed)…words of Barack Obama.

    • Peeping Tom
      April 18, 2012

      I think you may have missed the point that the PM is making.

      He is essentially saying that so much of Dominica had been neglected for so long that now, it is a massive headache to be able to do all that has to be done within a short space of time in order to catch up with the rest of the developing world.

      • Papa Dom
        April 19, 2012

        @ Peeping Tom.Ask youself and skerritt, when did all this neglect start. You say in such a short time, why a short time? Is something about to happen soon? All of a sudden skerritt is talking like a parrot but I suspect that this is just a ploy to stir up trouble in the country.

    • Realist
      April 18, 2012

      @ lapawol

      It is so pitiful that a present administarion who’s been there for more than 12 consistent years keep on comparing itself to past administarations one of which spent only 4½ years. Governance should be about going forward and nor perpetually looking back.

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