Austrie criticizes UWP agriculture initiative

A shipment of produce under the UWP initiative

Housing Minister, Reginald Austrie has said markets were always available for agricultural produce from Dominica to the French markets and United Workers Party (UWP) Senator Thomson Fontaine cannot take credit for selling agricultural produce to Martinique.

Recently Fontaine told Dominica News Online (DNO) the UWP has kept a promise made during the last general election to seek ways in revitalizing the agricultural sector in Dominica, and in that regard, the party was able to open up the Martinique market in December 2016. He said seven shipments of produce have already been sent to the French island.

But Austrie said markets had already been secured in Martinique.

“We have always said and the Prime Minister is on record saying there is, in fact, a market for agricultural produce both locally and regionally…we are not in the international markets yet, we will deal with that at a later time,” he said. “The Prime Minister has gone further to demonstrate that he, as a farmer, cannot supply the local market with fresh fruits and vegetables from his farm, his backyard farm, and has been encouraging the people of Dominica that please, there is a market out there let’s go into production.”

Austrie continued, “The point is there has always been a market, so Thomson Fontaine now cannot take any credit for selling huckstering agricultural produce to Martinique.”

He mentioned further that Dominica had established and identified markets in Guadeloupe and Martinique when Matthew Walter was Minister of Agriculture.

“And even when Matthew Walter was Minister of Agriculture he had established and identified markets in Guadeloupe…,” Austrie stated. “It was Matthew Walter who led a delegation to Martinique and secured markets in Martinique for everything that Dominica could produce.”

He stated, however, government has difficulty in filling that market with produce.

“Every week Honourable Ian Douglas is screaming, I want 800 pounds of yams, I want 200 pounds of cucumber, PM can I get some sweet peppers?…and the Prime Minister has told Ian, boss, you must go on the radio and ask the Dominican farmers to produce because you do not have sufficient produce for the recent park-houses that we established,” Austrie stated.

He said the Prime Minister in his budget address thought it was necessary to put some $10-million into the AID Bank for the farmers.

“Because he recognized that there were certain challenges being faced by the farmers and they needed that boost and that incentive,” Austrie said.

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  1. Frighteningly
    March 21, 2017

    You are like small boys in the playground. Farmers need refrigerated boats to transport their produce not hot air from politicians.

  2. Who put the spirit
    March 21, 2017

    Austrie tell us how many farmers in your constituency and how are they benefiting by Thompson Fountain`s inniative?

    • Rabbit Fest
      March 22, 2017

      Fountain have initiative in the north na? I never heard of it

  3. RastarMarn
    March 20, 2017

    Austie is a fool to come here and discredit this Francis Fellow and is blatantly childish showing his immature nature as a seasoned politician,,,

    The Skerrit administration have been focused more so in Tourism sector and it is evident in the infrastructure set in place by his administration,,,

    Austrie need to look in his backward and every time he pass down purple turtle to and from cottage he should ask himself WTH is wrong with the Hotel Project at the Cabrits,,,

    From time Marn been coming here and talking about these fellows needing to start putting emphasis in the Agricultural sector and stop their foolish ambitions in Tourism, now that the UWP is making strides Austrie want to take the Credit,,,

    Austrie Give them-man-dem their credit nuh even if they come from the opposition, the fundamental purpose of you government fellows is to make the country move forward so give Francis and the UWP what credit they deserve and if you cannot do that “Go Pound Sand”!!!

  4. Ideal
    March 20, 2017

    As I predicted they will run and take credit from UWP. these guys are so ruthless and false prophets. Just lies,lies after each other. We are fed up with them, they have to go.

  5. bigger
    March 20, 2017

    It seems to me that all comments against this initiative by Thompson Fontaine has been removed (including mine)is very unfair. DNO should be impartial as a news medium . I am absolutely sick to the back teeth to see what politics is doing to our beloved country

  6. March 20, 2017

    Jealousy, what Skerrit dem could not do in 17years, Thomson dem doing it in a few months :-D :-D :-D

  7. Grand Bayrian
    March 20, 2017

    Hon. Austrie,
    Your Government has failed to revitalize the Agricultural industry in Dominica. The Barbados Government recently announce an initiative to invest multi-million $$ in the production of cassava to produce cassava flour. If I recalled you were part of the Farm to market initiative, and that was when Freedom Party was in power. You made the same claim that Mr. Fontain is making. so stop being a hypocrite, as Spider would say, in his song. You smile and say hi, you hypocrite!

  8. dissident
    March 20, 2017

    Housing minister need to shut his trap.

    De trade minister need to take responsibility for his portfolio!
    With no official response from De ministry of trade……silence is defeat!

  9. DA
    March 20, 2017

    Austrie sounds like Trump ??

  10. Dave Bertrand
    March 20, 2017

    They are just upset that the Opposition is leading from the front with real action. They never saw this coming. That is what we call giving farmers independence. This DLP government would prefer to give them handouts to continue to control them. Be on your Ps and Qs Dr Fontaine they might accuse you and the UWP of another Coup attempt.

      March 20, 2017

      Hahahahahaah. So if the opposition is leading from the front DAVE BERTRAND SIR i wud like to ask u that tho. How many farmers was at any meeting giving them insentives to plant? What produce was targated by uwp? Wat knsentive they gave farmers? And wat program was in place to mobilze dat planting or replanting program by uwp? And sbould Tbompson and the uwp now appologise to dominicans for the lies they made saying AGRICULTURE DIE AND NO MARKETS AND PEOPLE CANT GET A GRAIN OF FIG TO BUY? IF AGRECULTURE WAS DESD WHERE DID HE GET PRODUCE TO SELL 7 SHIPMENTS TO G/LOUP AND MATINIQUE? HOW MANY FERTILISER DID UWP GAVE FARMERS? AH? AND WASNT GHERE ALWAYS MARKET IN G/LOUP MARTINIQUE FROM SINCE? I WANT U TO ANSWER THAT. And i wondering wen wil thompson stop huffing ideas and people barx work. Last year be and bis cronies huff medication which was sent to PMH after erika. We all know the DAAS isues. Now well establish markets he huffing it tfying to give the impression is first time thinv. Hahah

      • Ryan
        March 21, 2017

        what the hell are you saying. :lol: :lol:

    March 20, 2017

    What a re these politicians talking. The market for guadeloupe, martinque ,Anitgua, St marteen have always been there long before the labor party and uwp party. Ask all the old hucksters. Apiece of history. Dominica had a company buying produce. I cannot remember the name. These guys would only buy produce from certain BIG SURNAME individuals in Dominica. So the ordinary man started going to the neighboring islands by buying produce from the small farmers. Sometimes they would take the food on credit and pay when they return. A man who manage the produce for Dominica Governmentlives in Salisbury. ASK him.

    I think DNO should have a little investigative reporting column.

  12. televangelists are false prophets
    March 20, 2017

    Ok, And so what has the Minister of Agriculture done in the past years to tackle these limitation Mr. Austrie? Yes there has always been these Markets, we know that hucksters have been supplying them for ages. BUT what has the ministry of agriculture done to fully take advantage of the demand for our produce? Granted Thompson and the rest shouldnt get a trophy for the few pallets and boxes they sent, but it is 1 step closer. it is a foot in the right direction. That in itself is commendable. Drigo is a fool. and he doesnt know whether he is coming or going. He has no idea how the state of agriculture should look holistically from farm to table in/for Dominica. Instead getting 800 plastic crates seems to be the best thing since sliced bread for him. we need a way to can, juice, bottle, dry, grate, powder our agricultural produce to add value also. why should we sell produce to barbados and trinidad and elsewhere for them to only turn back and sell us the juice they made from our fruits?

  13. Toto
    March 20, 2017

    Oh for God sake Austrie. As if Dominica did not exist before Skerrit. It was here when no black or white man had set their eyes on it and I’m sure it will still be here and probably prospering when you, Skerrit and I are gone.

  14. March 20, 2017

    Yes Reggie, Also we have to warn our farmers of Thomson’s old ways…. Farmers, beware of this man, everything he put his hand in, it flops!

    • Shut up you dunce idiot!

      State here if you can anything you know Fontaine put his hands to and fail.

      For all we know Thomson is a qualified economists, he earned a Ph. D in his field, unlike a certain fellow who paid an unaccredited university in Punjab India with less than thirty thousand students, out of a population of several hundreds of millions of people.

      That alone tells you that so called university is not recognized by the government of India.

      That Dominica Mountain Chicken paid for a useless bit of paper so that he can be called doctor; while Fontaine earn his Ph. D in a accredited university; hence he was allowed the opportunity to be employed within an institution like the World Bank!

      Thomson once thought of introducing wind powered electricity in the country, people laughed, but as far as I am told the demo, he too Dominica, has not failed from the day it was first installed, so how can you cal the man a failure, when we see from your comments, that you…

  15. Reginald, we can play games as long as we wish, we can try to distort truth as much as we wish, but the truth has a way of presenting itself that when it surfaces your kind pups up with your weapon of criticisms trying to shoot it down!

    For almost a hundred years, Dominicans has been taking agricultural products to Antigua, and Barbados period! In recent years some people went to St. Kitts, I know this for a fact because I am way over fifty years old. When I was little, I know people from Petite Savanne who took agricultural produce to Martinique in canoes, one such person have two sons with my oldest sister; they are in their early sixties! So I am not exaggerating when said for almost a hundred years.

    The difference now and then, is that what the UWP has done is organize the shipments, that is what the Labor Party failed to do. If you try to discredit people for their good works, so too you will be discredited for what you do, and I can tell you there is no hailow around…

  16. Hope
    March 20, 2017

    Sir, you were telling the Opposition to go do something for the people, now they have done you are criticizing and want to take it away. Just stop it and you will see what our votes mean to us.

  17. Hope
    March 20, 2017

    Hon . Austria are you really concern about we poor farmers? Your pocket is large so you do not care about we farmers and families. The toilet, repair of house and transportation of some of our children to school is not all Sir. We are in need of jobs, jobs, market for our crops that were spoiling on the ground and money in our pockets to regain our independency. When something is good say its good.
    Look at the Castle Bruce Estate go and help, JoNo but farmers back on their feet.

  18. March 20, 2017

    Mr. Austrie is bringing light to the fact that this is not a uwp initiative. Why they lying about opening up a market that has long been established? Speak truth to power Reggie!

  19. March 20, 2017

    Clear. Example of in the land of the Blind, The one Eye is Giant! For the good of country, All for each and each for all! Politics, in my contract in the year of our Lord 2017? E. O. Leblanc must be Rolling in his Grave.

  20. Wat a Ship
    March 20, 2017

    I must smile cause the labor party boat was to big. The Barbados and other markets cant be accessed the present minister for agriculture agree it is a good idea cause he and his government cant do better. so y not give credit where it is due and live the politics out a bit and when the right time comes Dominicans will decide but i have seen supporters of the ruling party searching for mr Fontaine cause they want to sell some type of produce. why are they not searching for what your government has offered re agriculture? good to no that its the P M u are praising for what he grows in his back yard tells me you have not planted or grown nothing for the past 16 years well done. The late Masterville Labad always said TIME WILL TELL.

  21. Zandoli Claywat
    March 20, 2017

    Les i bon sey I bon. This a commendable action by Thompson Fontaine, the government has not gotten ONE single market for our farmers in 17 years. Thompson keep up the good work, God will reward you. Tell Austrie and the rest go and look for work for Dominicans and top being NEGATIVE, the always saying the opposition NEGATIVE, why can they not commend this action in support of our FARMERS.

  22. freedom fighter
    March 20, 2017

    Mr. Austry you are a bad excuse for a Politician. Stop taken politics for a joke and do the honourable thing, leave politics for those competent to do so and go into agriculture like your friend and Comrad Skerrit because thats what allu will be doing post elections,. Oh stupid me I forgot allu have millions.

  23. jobe
    March 20, 2017

    another backward politician , who gives all credit to the finance minister and none to the agriculture minister. Agriculture is what is there make the best of it

  24. Doc. Love
    March 20, 2017

    I heard a talk show host of Kairi asking for an investigation as to why the UWP was getting involved in the shipping of agriculture and I paid him no mind, now that Austrie is talking his stupidness, I realized them fellers are serious. Who the cares who secured markets in Martinique or anywhere in the world, the important thing is that Dr. Fontaine has help put some money in the farmer’s pocket. What is wrong with these DLP politicians, they cannot accept the progress or assistance from other politicians who are not singing from the same hymn sheet like them. Dominica is suffering because the same DLP politicians refused to follow up on the building of an international airport because the preliminary work was done by the UWP. The government should wish Fontaine, Legay and rest of the crew well and try to do better for the sake of Dominica and the farmers. I hope they are not upset because it wasn’t CBI money used to assist the farmers.

    • Voice of Reason
      March 20, 2017

      Who cares whether the market was opened by LeBlanc?? The fact of the matter is Not enough is being done to revitalize the Agricultural sector of the economy. If as much emphasis was placed on the Agricultural sector as is being placed on the CBI program, then our economy would not be solely dependent on passport sales.
      The current administration has abandoned, for the most part, a critical sector of the economy.
      Austrie should really stick to what he knows…….nothing!

    • March 20, 2017

      My friend
      Three weeks now he owing us!
      We want our money now!

      • %
        March 20, 2017

        Your lazy Red Clinic beggar…Go beg!You dont work!

  25. Standing Strong!
    March 20, 2017

    It’s no wonder our country is topsy-turvy. None of you ministers can contribute on any sector of government ; be it education, health, agriculture, national security without paying homage to skerrit. Austrie you are not making any sense.
    Tell us how much is being shipped to the markets that were established by allu beloved pm every week and we will be satisfied.
    Pure hogwash, trying to discredit the initiative of the opposition.

  26. Papa Bondieu
    March 20, 2017

    Mr. Austrie what are you talking about? It is very difficult to get a loan at AID Bank and tell us how many shipments of produce have Mr. Matthew Walter sent to Guadeloupe and Martinique. This government is just upset at what the opposition has achieved in that regard.

  27. AP
    March 20, 2017

    Yeah you wicked Labour Party will find some way to take over this initiative or stop it. Wicked wicked set of people!!

  28. Look It
    March 20, 2017

    “We have always said and the Prime Minister is on record saying there is, in fact, a market for agricultural produce both locally and regionally”

    “The point is there has always been a market,…”

    “And even when Matthew Walter was Minister of Agriculture he had established and identified markets in Guadeloupe…,”

    AREN’T YOU ASHAMED??!!! After 17 years you all have just been saying there are markets, there are markets, there are markets, BUT yet NOTHING has been done to access these markets, you all came up with all sorts of stories as to why no transactions have actually occurred!!!

    Don’t let your feathers be ruffled because UWP after 2 years was able to get produces into these very markets. THERE’S A HUGE DIFFERENCES IN SAYING “WILL DO” & “DOING”


  29. Red's
    March 20, 2017

    It look like for uwp every day it’s raining..sun never shining for them
    Guys.. Everyday they crying about something like nothing is going righ
    In Dominica.give thanks for something come on man..

    • Anonymous
      March 20, 2017

      O.K. Red, I thank Dr. Fontaine for this initiative. Is that o.k. by you?

    • oh snap
      March 20, 2017

      You do realise would the article about right? That’s your comrade crying buddy.

    • %
      March 20, 2017

      Seem like you have no understanding..Reggie is the one crying,because poor Dominicans are selling their produce in Martinique,assisted by the UWP off course….SHAME ON YOU REGGIE!

  30. Jonathan St Jean
    March 20, 2017

    Reggie Austrie,you don’t seem to understand what it is you are talking about. You are suggesting that once human beings reside in a location then there is a market for agricultural products from Dominica.Hog wash I will say.If Matthew Walter identified markets for our products then how come we are not sending thousands of tons of items every month?You know very little about this subject and should just shut up. There might be market potential but until you begin to supply your buyers with quantities of items on a regular basis you don’t have a market.Do you get it?Please tell Skerritt the same if you understand

    March 20, 2017

    Mr. Fontaine is aware that he has no chance getting to Parliament so he tried something else, I think this is good initiative. Good for you except keep to the rules we have you covered

  32. my take
    March 20, 2017

    Hon. Austrie, according to you ” the DLP government secured markets in Martinique and established and identified markets in Guadeloupe.” You went on to say that “government has difficulty in filling that market with produce.”

    With all due respect Sir, if the DLP government has been unable to ‘deliver’ on those statements, why then are you criticizing the UWP’s effort on making good on delivering produce to the market in Martinique?
    I am certain that the farmers are happy to earn some much needed income regardless of what party they support as we are all Dominican.

    Daddy Chess in his 2017 calypso sings “we are Dominican, not Laborite, UWPite or Freedomite.”

    Let us work together for the betterment of our dearly beloved country, i.e. DOMINICA. Stop making everything a political issue.

  33. street side
    March 20, 2017

    Austrie has a right to say that. as Dominicans in General are foolish not wanting change.

    they are called out to a meeting and they don’t show up, the Public servants are so foolish they don’t want a raise in salaries ..

    Put the pinch on those foolish Dominicans they are proud to be poor and happy..
    they can’t take any actions…foolish lot-Dominicaa!

  34. LifeandDeath
    March 20, 2017

    So apparently it’s simple enough to Identify the Markets, and then criticize those who actually do sell to the market..Backward!!
    ..but most eerie in this statement is the reverence paid to the Prime Minister, and for what?

    • kingman
      March 20, 2017

      no, its just dishonest to take credit for something that you did not do, Thomson did not open or create any market, as a huckster he sold his produce to the markets that he met.

      • Look It
        March 20, 2017

        He never said he created markets…. it is very sad and actually what is dishonest is that your government is not doing enough…. if they had done all the could to ensure farmers are selling their produce in these markets, there would be no markets for UWP to get the opportunity to sell to….whether is Thompson who is huckstering or not….at least those who are making money from what he is doing won’t need to go to PM red clinic but instead gain some independence and a livelihood.

  35. Tjebe fort
    March 20, 2017

    Reggie, your buddy Roosevelt is on record saying many things so we take that for nothing. You are a little man making political capital out of this Reggie. Anything legal to put money into our farmers’ pockets I support, no matter what people vote , red, green, blue or nothing. That is not important Reggie, is it? You should be happy for the farmers, I am.

  36. smh
    March 20, 2017

    We don’t need the money at the AID bank we need largen cheche to continue to produce. The Market has always been there but only put to use by those …… ministers who wanted to sell and pocket the monies for themselves. Mr Austrie people like you only God knows. Mr. Fontaine did the right thing putting it out there. Whilst there is and may have always been a market for our local produce where is your minister of agriculture pounding the pavement and radio stations encouraging farmers to bring in their produce? You all run ahead to sell for yourselves but Mr. Fontaine saw it fit to include the rest of the farming population and that pisses you all off cause he is now going to and will continue to get farmers to supply the yams, peppers and the rest you all are unable to supply among yourselves. Stop treating the average voter that put you all where you are as idiots and beggars.The nonsense deal that you have set up at the bank is not in anyway in the favor or the average…

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