Our Readers' Opinions
February 3, 2006
SVMC needs clear direction

EDITOR: The saying is: Government and its many components are as good or as bad as those who administer. Of course the government is the boss, so that it is fair to conclude that its policies and programs are reflected very clearly in no uncertain terms by those whom they have placed at the helm. Allowances would always be made for a certain amount of human weakness but there has to be a limit.{{more}}

A visit to the St.Vincent Marketing Corporation, really, does not in the least suggest that it is in harmony with the express public position of the government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines as far as agricultural diversification, poverty alleviation, and its determination to reduce unemployment is concerned. How could it be when a state entity is importing and selling on the state-owned property fresh and processed agriculture produce such as sweet pepper, corn, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, asparagus and the list goes on and on?

Bravely last Saturday a section of Heritage Square taxi stand was used to show-off and retail imported salted fish. At the moment the newly modernized Kingstown Fish Market is becoming clogged up with fresh tuna. Amazingly, we do not even have a clue as to what we could do with them.

The sweet peppers, etc, just mentioned went for $10.10 per pound to $26 per pound at Christmas; now they are at $13 per pound. Some of them singularly could weigh about one pound. Touch them gently and they will crumble, so too the celery.

The private sector should feel free to import and sell what they want where fresh agricultural produce are concerned. But the St.Vincent Marketing Corporation should be given very clear direction. You do not sell imported fresh agricultural produce whether or not they are available locally. You do not sell them at the state-owned supermarket. Ever!!

Stanley Quammie