Private sector urged to partner with government in agriculture

Johnson Drigo

Minister for Agriculture, Johnson Drigo, has called on the private sector to partner with government in the agricultural sector.

Drigo said at present, markets are demanding high volumes in terms of agriculture.

“The time is right to invite the private sector to partner with government in the agricultural sector,” he said. “The private sector, there are avenues; there is the $10 million facility.”

Drigo continued, “I want to encourage the private sector to go into agriculture.”

The minister explained that a number of the private sector and business owners own a large parcel of land, “they have the employment structure, which includes the paying of social security and everything else……the private sector must now start thinking of supporting agriculture in order that we can meet the volume the market is demanding out there.”

Drigo went on to say that traditionally there are small farmers in small holdings doing mixed farming, “but we need a rapid expansion in dasheen, in yams, in potatoes, ginger and I believe the private sector can play a good role in that.”

 The Ministry of Agriculture, he said, expects expansion in dasheen production and root crop in particular.

“We expect to meet the qualities required for the markets that we have secured for the farmers in the US, in the Europe, but it will come in hard work,” he noted.

Meantime Drigo stated that farmers should be encouraged by the 2017/2018 National Budget.

He encouraged farmers to be “excited about the budget” and to prepare themselves to take advantage of all of the opportunities within the budget.”

Drigo said farmers must be prepared to work very hard.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Harold Guiste, said recently, at a seminar organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), that there was a “bombardment” of requests for agricultural produce from Dominica to various markets around the world.

Guitse said the Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on a project to increase production of dasheen as an economic crop for Dominica and a dasheen expansion program has been developed to meet at least two containers of dasheen to the U.S. and perhaps “one or two to the U.K. and other produce to be taken by hucksters through the region.”

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  1. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
    August 12, 2017

    Private ventures can only be successful with government support and intervention hence the term: Public Private Partnership. Those who love to cite DCP as a shining example must also remember that government implemented high tariffs on imported soaps and other products manufactured by DCP so that they could sell their products minus foreign competition. With the exception of Bello, there are no other agro processors on the island who have focused on processing our local agricultural products.

  2. Shameless
    August 11, 2017

    Mr.Drigo ; where is the plentiful “soft, sweet and render chicken ” from the albatross abattoir you promised donkey years ago? Where is the retaining wall above Mado right under Ila house area you promised Teeney and Jalousie people ? When is the completion and grand opening of the Odelice to Pte. Soufriere road? Where are the jobs you promised the people of your constituency? Sir, Castle Bruce was once the bread basket of Dominica and under your watch people a now buying fig and dasheen in Roseau for consumption at in Cbruce.

    Had you not helped in killing agriculture Castle Bruce alone would be meeting demands. Remember the days of Douglas, Laryea, Jean-bar Bannis, Enter, Ahvweee, Ferris, Hon. Rabs, and Ping? Agriculture was booming and money was flowing in the community, Man you are a waste of time.

    Assertive like the rod of Moses! :twisted: :twisted:

  3. lp
    August 10, 2017

    Boy Haitians really take over agriculture, sure you not a Haitian? ouu ka sam yoo!

  4. jaded
    August 10, 2017

    At the end of the day if the private sector does not invest in farming then there will be nothing to produce. We always say that the government should stop feeding people but now the government is asking for the private sector to invest you people have a problem with that. No private sector involvement- no farms.

  5. Shaka Zulu
    August 10, 2017

    Every time this guy comes and makes a statement it sounds like someone wrote it for him and he has no clue what he saying. He also looks the part. Smh. So farmers have to compete with businesses for finance and a structure. Why not just buy back those small farms turn them into estates and have those farmers as employee. Above is a text book example of when leaders don’t have a plan and instead beg people to do what they should be doing. Instead of telling us what the MOA has done and put in place that help meet demand he is suggesting what private sector should do with thier finances. This is the level of idiots we have in this place. Private sector invest when there is a market driven environment conducive to growth and development. That does not exist in dominica. Years now we have a self proclaimed socialist running the country. Nothing will improve until he is gone.

  6. Bro
    August 10, 2017

    I read some comments and I wonder if they got the message. When they ask why the govt doesn’t do this and that, like invest in Agro processing plants- is that the govt job? Did the govt of the day start DCP or Bello or was that private sector start ups.
    Everything in this country is govt responsibility becuz both parties, DLP and UWP, are socialist based therefore their economic policies are big govt aka govt control over everything. If we want true progress we need smaller govt and less taxes. If there is a demand for processed products and Dominica has the raw materials in abundance, then don’t be a know it all smarta$$ just take the risk and start your business. Anything govt run would be inefficient anyway.
    But then again, are there anything in abundance in Dominica these days? Good luck in getting a farmer to sell u crops below the Huskster ask Bello about those problems.

  7. %
    August 10, 2017

    Man get off my darn computer.Your doggone makak we!!!!!
    Cant you see that you all have failed the country.Go slam your stupid hand on Skerrits desk and ask Skerrit about who have our diplomatic passports!Didnt you say we would be exporting fish by this time? The HOLY CONMMUNION will CHOKE YOU,one of those Sundays.

  8. Mr. Ben Dover
    August 10, 2017

    it should be the other way around. The government , especially the ministry of agriculture need to show interest in what is happening with the private sector. Not just to export fresh produce. Why hasnt the ministry of Agriculture shown any interest in the development of the AGRO PROCESSING sector? Why hasnt the Ministry of Agriculture made any moves to open the coffee plant to allow private farmers to supply the facility? and i could go on and on. why is the arbatoire not leased to a local management company or local farming cooperatinve to ensure a market for fresh meats? Why hasnt the Min of Agriculture put forth proposition to portion land for the specific cultivation of cash crops like pepper, coconut, tumeric etc? But yet you want private sector to chase you and beg for your help, No. It should be the other way around. We need to add value to the dasheen and root crop you like to export raw as fresh produce. We need to start making dasheen chips, flour, animal feed, etc.

    • Ras
      August 10, 2017

      Mr Dover, don’t you think that the government’s decision to make available $15M to persons who are prepared to invest in the agricultural sector, and another $15M for investment in the manufacturing sector- on very concessionary terms a move in the right direction? Why can’t individuals who lament the waste of mangoes, breadfruits and other fruits take advantage of those facilities?

      • Mr. Ben Dover
        August 14, 2017

        Mr. Ras? We have yet to agree on those terms. Also it is not the government puting money there for agriculture, it is the government loaning the money to the bank and the bank setting its own terms based on certain prerequisites. So it is still a problem for business people (hotels, farmers manufacturers) to access the funds. We have to understand things like why must DCP import most of its copra or bello have to import its pepper mash? it is not just throwing money at a problem Mr. Ras and hoping it fixes itself. We need to figure out what it is or how do we really want to see Dominica and not just thinking pie in the sky or pipe dreams. But sustainable execution of sound fundamental plans. What if overnight we get like venezuela? how do we take care of ourselves? how do we ensure long term prosperity and means of production for the people?

    • Sams Gutter
      August 12, 2017

      I had dasheen chips on JetBlue, they are fantastic

  9. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 10, 2017

    Drigo, shut up, you have the face of a liar!

    You are a pathological liar!

    What market are you talking about?

    Name one entity, company, or cooperation on this planet calling you, or visited Dominica to contract with you; Skerrit, or any other in the cabal to supply them with any sort of agricultural products produced in Dominica!

    It is foolishness, for you to suggest that private sector should partner with government in agriculture. How do you hope to accomplish that? Are you suggesting joint labor on the farms, or are you suggesting the farm lands should be owned by government and private people.

    That is a stupid suggestion, which I suggest you explain! By the way how many pounds of fish have you shipped internationally since your last shipment of a million pounds?

    August 10, 2017

    “Meantime Drigo stated that farmers should be encouraged by the 2017/2018 National Budget.” But Mr. Drigo you want the people to work hard in their fields on the basis of the 2017/2018 budget, but you all have said nothing about what markets have been opened. Your statement reminds me of an item I sold to a person who wrote me a large big cheque that really made me fill good but when I took it to the bank I realized he had no money at the bank and he disappeared a day later. I NOT Drunk

  11. Fear always
    August 10, 2017

    Hi Dry, your opponents went to China when these guys return they will be pushing Chinese agriculture like chicken in a fortnight dasheen in a week with Chinese tech hahahahaahhah
    nous fini bat. all normally wasted fruits will be canned even dasheen & dog in can ready to serve look out.
    Chinese dumplings or D/cans with 2 weeks piglets red beens canned too look out.(
    I guess if as LL et Al thinks-meaning they going to form the next gov’t) They’ll keep u on to run the abattoir as a tech hahahahahah Eddo already pushing more bannas & dasheen all over the marigot heights. despite being President too.He might try the mining of 96 with Al Marsari anew. The boat that was said( he purchased back when they were on stage & incharge can come out of th docks.

  12. viewsexpressed
    August 10, 2017

    My advice to Drigo before he continues to make a fool of himself since he gravitated towards this Skerrit lead corrupt labour government, is to get away from this Skerrit Labour government, as quick as you can.
    Drigo to bluntly cone n media and say t is time that private sector come on board in agriculture tell sus that you ministry is weak, the head of this ministry s clueless and focus less and your boss the PM, is not in a position to guide you to the benefits of agriculture and what oath you should take. You, in this position have failed and to this cry out now tells us that you, Skerrit and your ministry have failed and you have failed because you know not what to do and this cry is one of emergency and urgency because you are part of a corrupt regime politically illiterate and immature. Again, we advise you to run away from Skerrit and this corrupt Labour government. Jono, no one listens to you and they want you out of the next election, they have ur close friend to replace…

    • Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
      August 10, 2017

      I think Drigo should stick to fish exports only.

  13. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
    August 10, 2017

    Every time I see Drigo, I can’t help, but think about our annual fish exports. After exporting more than 1 million pounds last year all I can think about is this year’s export totals. Well, it’s still early so I will wait until the last day in December, 2017 for this year’s total export over last year’s. :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P :-P

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