Fri 1st Mar 2019
A Vincentian farmer and businessman told Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA on Friday 22 February 2019 at the market in Kingstown, that in his opinion the ULP regime does not have the education needed to move SVG forward.
The farmer said that there is no market for his produce and the ULP regime has failed to find new markets for Vincentian farmers’ produce. The farmer said that when he comes to Kingstown on Fridays, he is lucky if he makes 30 dollars profit from the goods he has to sell. The money he gets is not enough to properly sustain his family and pay water and light bills.
One of the problems is that the Marketing Corporation was closed down and there is no system in place to fill the void the Marketing Corporation left. Also, to make matters worse, there’s no money circulating the country and people are just not buying much on market day.
The agricultural industry is in such a mess that farmers come to Kingstown on Friday to sell their produce and do not sell much. They are then forced to come back to Kingstown again on Saturday and on Monday, to try to make a few dollars more and to avoid losing a lot of their produce through spoilage.
The SVG economy is very weak. Both tourism and agriculture are virtually dead.
Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc(hons), MSc, MBA fully accepts the farmer and businessman’s grave concerns and fully agrees with him that, the ULP regime’s track record shows they do not have the education needed to move the SVG economy from stagnation in to prosperity.
The question the farmer has put to SVG Green Party is how would SVG Green Party bring prosperity to SVG?
A Green government would bring back the Marketing Corporation, and with regard to agriculture, look to focus on import substitution. In SVG, we should eat what we grow and grow what we eat and improve our health by producing our food organically. We would give farmers guaranteed prices and find more markets for their produce.
Beyond agriculture, what SVG businesses need is a buoyant economy and local and foreign markets for their products. A Green government would modernise the SVG economy and help businesses export.
There is lack of foreign investment in SVG in high earning and high skilled industries. To redress this, a Green government would invest hundreds of millions annually in to skills training and free, high-quality education from pre-school to university, to create a highly educated and highly skilled workforce. Singapore did this and now has one of the highest standards of living in the world.
More importantly, a Green government would enact a new, fairer taxation system to get money circulating the SVG economy, as shown in the recent SVG Green Party Budget Estimates 2019.
Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc(hons), MSc, MBA calls for a new economic strategy to move our country into prosperity, which should involve cutting tax so as to stimulate economic activity in our stagnant economy. Singapore did this and now has an unemployment rate of less than two percent.
As highlighted by the Vincentian farmer and businessman, the ULP regime does not have the education needed to carry out the above mentioned necessary changes to move SVG forward.