The Grenada Revolution Online

NJM Manifesto -

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, AGRO-INDUSTRIES

Our basic policy for the organisation of economic activity is through cooperatives. We find the principle of co-operatives is the fairest way of ensuring full workers' participation and benefits from whatever enterprise is being done. We feel that workers will work harder and produce more if they know they are working for themselves and reaping the benefits of their labours, rather than if they are working for a boss.

For us to achieve a higher standard of living, we must enter upon a modern agricultural program, expand greatly our fishing industry and develop an island-wide network of factories for canning, processing, preserving and packaging all of the crops and fish we produce in this new program.

Our goal is not just to expand production of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, etc., while continuing to import the feeds for these animals, because to do so would still keep the cost of the animals too high owing to the high cost of these feeds. Rather, we aim to produce the various feeds ourselves. This we can do by making use of the fishmeal, coconut meal, corn, breadfruits, soya beans, sugar-cane, reject bananas, citrus and many other products which are now being used by the countries we buy the feeds from at high prices.

Our plan for increased production in cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, etc., will stress the introduction of breeds adaptable to the region and proper feeding and management. We advocate the creation of properly managed community pastures practising commercial grazing in tastier and more nutritious grazing areas.

We advocate the creation of a Central Dairy Board which would be responsible for collecting, processing and distributing locally produced fresh milk at fair prices.

From our present agricultural commodities, we can develop agro-industries producing for ourselves some of the following products:

Nutmegs
Nutmeg oil, jams, jellies, liquers, spice powder, pharmaceuticals, preserves, juices and marmalade

Cassava
Flour, baby food, cereals, farine

Bananas
Flour, chips, cake-mixes, baby foods, animal feeds

Cocoa
Confectionery (sweets); beverages (Chocolate, Ovaltine, Milo), ice cream

Breadfruit
Flour, chips, tinned foods
Corn Mixed with flour for baking, starch, oil

Cucumber
Gherkins

Cotton
Oil, animal feeds and plastics

Fish
Freezing, canning, packaging, powder for animal feeds, dehydrating surplus fish as the protein supplement in a livestock feed

Groundnut
Peanut butter, milk substitutes

Lamb
Tinned, dried, frozen

Coconuts
Cooking oil, soap, using the coconut meal by-product for animal feeds

Citrus:

Limes
Lime oil, lime juice, lime cordials. The pulp can be used as a stock-feed

Orange and grapefruits
Fresh fruit trade and the canning of surplus

Other fresh fruits
Fruit trade in mangoes, avocadoes (pears), soursop, passion fruit, guavas, W.I. cherries, sorrel, paw-paw, sapodillas and tamarinds for local consumption and export trade. The agro-industry here can be based on fruit-juices, nectars, liqueurs, wines, etc.

Minor spices
Our cloves, cinnamon, ginger, tonka beans, vanilla, black pepper, can be used to produce ground and mixed spices

Livestock feed
This can be produced from reject bananas, breadfruit, corn, fishmeal, slaughterhouse wastes, citrus and sugarcane

Ground provisions
The production of instant yam, tanyas, and sweet potatoes, etc., in packaged form. It must be stressed that all of these new products can and will be packaged, bottled, canned or wrapped by us right here in Grenada at our new factories.

We propose the setting up of a Soil Conservation Authority to deal with soil and water conservation in Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. We will introduce small-scale machinery whenever possible, to remove the stigma of slavery and toil associated with the fork and hoe.

We propose to completely reorganise the existing facilities for servicing agriculture through a strong Research and Extension Division and a core of specialists in such areas as Crop Science, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Livestock Science, Agricultural Economics, Marketing, Land Use and Soil and Water Conservation. At present the technical service lacks depth and direction and a climate of frustration prevails. Juniors lacking in knowledge, qualification and ability have been promoted over seniors, open political activity is encouraged, while favours, promotion and courses are handed out on a patronage basis. To crown the matters, there is often conflict between the Permanent Secretary and the entire staff.

We will improve the existing agricultural feeder roads and build new ones for the opening of new areas for agricultural expansion.

Our new emphasis in what we teach in our schools will attract better types of Farm Manager/Operator with a higher standard of education and a better understanding of farming principles and practices offered by modern technology. We will demonstrate that commercial farming can provide a decent and respectable standard of living as any other occupation. We will make an early start in motivating our new farmers through summer schools, weekend agricultural camps, teach-ins and the formal teaching of agriculture in both Primary and Secondary Schools and at our Freedom Schools.

To develop such a program of agro-industries based on the agricultural commodities we can grow will require a large and steady supply of all these commodities coning from the farming sector to supply the agro-industry factories, Such a large and constant supply of these commodities, we believe, can only take place by radical redistributing the land in Grenada into co-operative farms of not less than 40-50 acres in size. This will replace the present scandal of “Land for the landless” policy, which has the effect only of destroying the whole agricultural basis of the economy.

Such a plan would also require a National Transport System and a National Marketing System which would take the fresh crops as well as the processed foods and animal feeds from the farms and factories to the homes of everyone throughout the island and to the docks for exporting overseas for us to earn some extra income.

We must use our agricultural experts as well as experts from the University of the West Indies along with our most successful local farmers, primary and secondary school teachers and pupils, as the hard core of the detailed planning and implementation of this scheme as well as for continuous research to get higher yields from the available land being utilised on these crops. We see our students throughout the island playing a more active and direct role in raising our levels of production thereby improving the material well-being of the people and gaining for themselves in the process an invaluable education in real life.

We aim to expand coastal as well as deep-sea fishing, using the right kind of boats and trawlers, with refrigeration on board for deep-sea fishing. Additionally, adequate deep-freezing facilities at the various fishing ports will be provided so that the fish can be preserved for long periods, and would not go bad if sales cannot be immediately obtained.

Our 1,500 fishermen with their 654 boats and our 110 dish vendors will be encouraged to work co-operatively. The fishing industry will develop into both a fresh fish market and a manufacturing industry. The co-operative will control its production, distribution and marketing thus benefitting the individuals while at the same time severely reducing our high food import bills and saving us badly needed foreign exchange. The surplus sprats, small jacks, flying fishes, etc., will be utilised as animal feed. We will examine closely the possibility of making our own saltfish from dyed fish.

We intend opening a fishing school drawing on local experts and experts from various countries of the world experienced in fish techniques, storage and processing and fish farming.

Fishing, like any other activity in the country, must be done professionally, and if the right facilities and training and marketing are available to the fisherman, he can make a very good living out of it. With Grand Etang Lake, other, smaller lakes and several of our rivers and inland bays, we can and should develop an inland fishing industry with the rearing of crayfish, titerree and other kinds of fish, and in the bays lobster farming on a big scale.

Directly connected with this expanded fishing program would be an expanded and varied boat-building industry. Again, we do not want to go buying expensive fishing boats from abroad when no one know how to build boats better than our very own people from Carriacou and Sauteurs.

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