Prospere Mulling Rayneau Agriculture Exports Initiative – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Saint Lucia Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere has disclosed that he is mulling an agriculture exports initiative that local businessman Rayneau Gajadhar successfully launched in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

However, Prospere indicated that Saint Lucia may not be ready for such a project.

“It is something I am still thinking about, but I am hoping something can work out but I am not sure at this time we are ready for the same arrangement that he has in Saint Vincent,” the Minister stated on the sidelines of Tuesday’s House of Assembly sitting.

Gajadhar launched Rayneau Industries Limited in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The company buys all farmers’ agricultural products, pays the farmers immediately, and seeks export markets.

Gajadhar blamed the apathy of successive governments for the failure to implement the project in Saint Lucia.

“We have not received any proposals from him in terms of government,” Saint Lucia’s Agriculture Minister stated.

“I know we have had a lot of discussion around it, and you know, how we think it can work,” Prospere recalled.

Nevertheless, the Island’s Agriculture Minister explained that Saint Lucia differs from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prospere pointed to the Saint Lucia Marketing Board, where farmers are already registered.

He also observed that some farmers have contracts to supply places like hotels and Massy Stores Supermarket.

At the same time, Prospere declared that the Rayneau project would have been best for Saint Lucia farmers, ensuring that they get paid for whatever they produce.

In addition, he noted the importance of competition.

“But at the same time you want to ensure that the decisions you make would not negatively impact the farmers,” the Minister said.

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