AS the budget for 2018 /2019 approaches, Moses Jn. Baptiste, MP for Vieux Fort North and Opposition spokesperson for Health, Agriculture, Fishers and Food Production, says he is eagerly awaiting the presentation by both the Prime Minister and the Minister for Agriculture, in particular, on the state of the Agriculture Sector.
According to Jn. Baptiste, who represents a rural constituency and is a former Minister for Agriculture and Food Production, there have been widespread complaints by fishers and farmers about their plight.
In addition to obvious challenges, farmers and fishers have also had to pay an additional $1.50 EC in fuel taxes, a measure he says has further cut into their revenues.
The MP noted that 2017 presented the country with relatively favourable weather and no major adverse event.
Additionally, he said, the government continually claimed there were major improvements in production in agriculture.
Mr. Jn. Baptiste asserts that the UWP came into government and found the agriculture sector growing with major investments in all sub sectors, while employment and revenues were all increasing.
It is therefore against that background, the former minister says, that the debate on agriculture will be framed and both the Prime Minister and the Minister will have an opportunity to substantiate their earlier claims.