Farmer expresses anger at road condition
September 28, 2007

Farmer expresses anger at road condition

While local farmers are being encouraged to stay in agriculture, some are expressing frustration with the condition of the roads leading to their farms.{{more}}

One such farmer is Oral Francois, who took SEARCHLIGHT to his farm to have a first hand look into the matter. Francois owns four acres of land at Watts, in the Palmira area of North Leeward; he is operating a mixed farm of tree crops, root crops and vegetables.

The road to Francois’s farm also connects Rose Hall and Chateaubelair, and had been surfaced in the early 90’s. At that time, it was motorable, and farmers were able to drive to and from their farms. Francois said that it’s been about six yeas since work had been done on the road: “I want to know if these people pay their taxes?” he further stated.

From the Chateaubelair end, the road is steep and narrow. However, over the years, small and medium sized rocks fell into the road and they remained there. The road is also overgrown with weeds that thrive in the soil that was deposited in the road from landslides and water action.

Francois has cleared a portion of the road close to his farm. Other than that, most of the road remains in wilderness. There are parts where elephant grass has grown to seven or eight feet tall, making it impossible to see the road.

Because of the high elevation, the area around Francois’s farm offers a fantastic view of the Chateaubelair Valley, all the way to the horizon. Francois believes that the area could be marketed as a nature and keep-fit trail, giving the tourism industry in North Leeward a much needed boost.

Francois has owned his lands for over 25 years, and this is the worst condition it has ever been in, he said. He told Searchlight that he has reported the matter to the Agricultural Extension Officer and the Area Representative, but nothing has been done. “This is how they killing Agriculture,” he said.