Bassy - Love Vine
June 19, 2009
De days ah fee-she business over

Ah have ah pashion foh Fish dat fishes deeper dan just eating fry Fish and boil-een. It is always my conviction dat if dis country is to survive, our Agriculture and Fishing/Marine resources will play a pivotal role. Last week ah read in the newspaper, an article dat was supplied by National Investment Promotions Inc.{{more}} (NIPI) promoting a Fisheries Investment Forum in July. De article contained serious information, some ah de usual wretch-trick but mainly it lacked prominence, ah lot ah dem Fisher Folk foh whom it was primarily intended, would not ah seen it. Since it is ah Government Release, “good news” foh Fish-her Folks, then it should ah bin an attractive spread in de form of ah Government Ad. Dat apart, ley me deal wid de substance de “bread from fish” in de project, and is ah lot in dey foh de Fish-ah Folk.

NIPI has been mandated to sensitize all stakeholders of dis new Thrust to develop our Fish resources, hence de Forum next month. Some six million dollars will be handed to a number of Institutions, NCB, NDF and First SVG Bank, foh disbursement to get phase one which is the “Fishing Fleet Expansion Program” started. From dis program Fish-ah Folks will get ah loan of up to 95% of de price ah de boat, dey ain’t say if boat includes engine, de borrower will come up wid de other 5 %. Because of de inherent risk related to collateral, Government is willing to guarantee up to 50% ah de loan, borrower will have to pay 8% interest rate and de loan must be paid off in ten years. Ah didn’t read nothing bout part loan and part grant which is vital if de project is intended to mek fish-ah-food-able to consumers. We must bail-out our Fisher Folk and Farmers.

Dat is de business part, now foh de Pull-it-tek-all part. Applicants must first be approved by de Min. of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Ah hope “Min” means Ministry (Officials) and not Minister. In any case it ain’t matter, de Min. Officials does have to run dem ting pass de Minister first, something that ministry officials have now subjected dem-selves to, dis is to mek sure de Boats will be painted Red all over wid ah star in de bow; sorry dat’s incorrect, to mek sure none ah dem Boats paint Yellow.

Ah come-plain dat ah bin making all de time, is dat ah lot ah good projects got started in SVG but foh lack ah good management and expert supervision, dey fall flat. We need an Institution dat is made up of people who could not only design projects but who got wide experience in project supervision to wuk wid project carriers. De Release last week mek mention of Fisher Folk providing ah Business Plan, detailing cash flow projections, a Marketing Plan and Fisher Folks capacity to manage de operation before dey could get ah loan. Well excuse me, are we talking bout de majority ah we Fisher Folks in SVG. Dat has to be ah part ah de NIPI undertaking, dey must make such ah service available, like having ah Project Development and Advisory Unit in place, whatever yuh want to call it to put projects on ah sound footing, otherwise de whole ting doom to fail. Ah Fish-her-man or woman role is to catch fish. After s/he get up out ah dey bed at 3:00 a.m, ride thru de rough seas all day to fish, when dey bring in de catch, their part ah de wuk is done. Ability to manage operation and keeping books is somebody else’s responsibility.

Just de other day ah write say dat people who got money locked away in bank, wouldn’t want to go down de Clico/British Americal road again, so invest yuh money at home.

Didn’t I hear bout ah local group dat was willing to market fish from Fisheries, but Fisheries were unable or weren’t prepared to provide de required cuts. Dat in itself is ah project foh private enterprise, cutting and packaging. De writer of de NIPI Release talked about not having to be rocket scientist to see de need foh change, ah hope NIPI walk wid dey Rocket Scientist to de Forum to talk Fish, because dem days ah Fee-she business over.


Yuh know is Can-ah-val back-canal again when yuh hear dey banning Kaiso. De Cato Labour administration is who started dis Banning Kaisos ting when dey sing about de Guv-ah-mint wrong doings. Dey ban so many dat de Man Age made ah Kaiso “Dey go Ban it”, one particular line dat ah remember is “If yuh say dat de country salt, and is Big Head Magoffy (Cato) Fault, Dey go Ban It”! and who tell yuh dey didn’t Ban It, but he won King. Was not until Mitchell took office dat we got to hear De Man Age’s song “ Dey go Ban It” on Radio. Everybody sang on Mitchie, Scakes sang “What goes around comes around” and Mitchell bought two copies. When everybody come-plain dat Mitchie is ah Trickster, Toiler sang “Mr Nansi and Mitcie made ah statement in Par-liar-mint dat he will never Ban ah Kaiso. He never did! So much so dat Kaisonian C.P sang all kindah ting pon Mitchie, first he sang “Kaisonian could sing” den when de going got rough, he sang “Ah feeling it” den “Jessie de Gambler” and won King. ULP “Labour” tek office and CP done wid dat, now he singing “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claws coming to town”. Ah challenge him to sing over “Kaisonian could sing” ley de send him Balliceaux to teach goat and sheep.

Dis year Zion I sang ah hot one dat get ban. Thru-out his 30 plus years, De Man Age has remained ah thorn in de Guv-ah-mint’s flesh, no matter who in office. Of all de years ah listening Kaiso ah never hear ah Kaisonian in his song, order ah prime Minister out ah Office, telling him to “ Go! get out ah here”! Only De Man Age is Man nuff to sing dat. However ah feel “Dey Go Ban It”. And wid dat, is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.