Some farmers are said to be selling subsidised fertilizer received from the government. (internet photo)

Some farmers have been selling to their colleagues at a discounted price the subsidised fertilizer that they receive from the government.

“I am told — and I am close to the ground, I want to get this verified — there are one or two persons, I understand, they get the fertilizer, but as soon as they get the fertilizer, they take it and sell it to another farmer at a discounted price,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference this week.

“First of all, fertilizer which is supposed to be $120 a sack, I am giving you for $100 — because I have the subsidy inbuilt, then I am lending you money, then it is being sold for $75?

“It means that you don intend to do any farming, and you don’t intend to pay back that money,” Gonsalves said in reference to the EC$6 million that his government has made available for farmers to borrow.

“But I want to sound the warning that this money is not social welfare money. This money is to develop your production. Of course, in any system, you will have one or two people trying to behave like that. But you are not beating the system, you only beating yourself.”

Gonsalves also noted that the opposition spokesperson on agriculture, MP for North Leeward, Roland “Patel” Matthews told the party’s protest rally in Kingstown last that a New Democratic Party administration will convert the EC$6 million into a grant.

“What they want to encourage is to tell the farmers not to pay it back,” Gonsalves said of the opposition.

He, however, said that the sensible farmer will realise that if it is paid back there will be money on an on-going cycle.

He said the government to give some things free, but added that it will be irresponsible to think that everything can be had free always.

4 replies on “Farmers selling subsidised fertilizer from gov’t –PM”

  1. Urlan Alexander says:

    Comrade are you for real? Why do you think farmers are selling the fertilizers? If you don’t know let me explain to you. After your government deliberately killed the banana industry all banana farmers began to see their living standards take a down turn. You give some of them a little hand out for a short while. After that they’re on their own. Many of these farmers began receiving letters from their creditors because they could not meet their monthly commitments. As the situation become grave and reality steps in the situation became worse for the majority of farmers. You pick and choose a few farmers to give fertilisers. To make sure only your supports get the fertilizers you do so out of the scope of the extension officers and hired a few party hacks to distribute the fertilizers in each constituency. Many of your supporters who got fertilizers don’t even have as much as peas tree planted; on th ether hand genuine hardworking farmers did not get any. Many of your supporters were seen in public selling the fertilizers. This was done for (2) main reasons (a) They had no need for it and (b) they like their counterparts are catching hell to survive so they sell to make ends meet. Your government Mr PM has done a lynching job of the agriculture sector in this country. The sector is dying a slow death and you have succeed in killing off the banana industry. You and Montgomery Daniel should be charged for the role you both played in killing banana. As minister of finance you should have dispersed the financial resource to save the sector. Your government deliberately killed banana. Are you afraid of the economic independence of the farmers? Do u feel better seeing them in guardsman uniforms?. You said the NDP is encouraging the farmers not to pay back the loan from the $6M Petro Caribe money. The farmers will ensure they don’t pay it back by not voting for you. simply as that. By the way that loan from Petro Caribe did it come from the 50% we are allowed to keep as a loan? if that is the case then you are more dangerous than I thought. Are you for real? If you have an ear to the ground as you want us to believe then selling fertilisers by farmers who can’t survive because of no income support from you, should not be surprising. You need to come out of your bubble and come down from your high towers and dance to the music that vincies faced daily in trying to make ends meet.

  2. Peter Binose says:

    $75 is the governments cost, the $25 loan to farmers is their profit which they should not be bleeding from the farmers. There is no subsidy, just robbery of the farmers.

  3. I agree with the PM that that loans should not be convered to grants. But I also oppose the subsidies he has put in place.

    Farmers, like other producers and businesspeople, should stand or fall on their own. Otherwise all sorts of unintended cosequences develop such as that mentioned by the PM but also others such as giving loans and grants mainly to party supporters, unfairly subsidizing one sector of the economy in favour of another, artificially inflating prices of homegrown produce while inflating the prices of imports to pay for the subisidies, and encouraging lfarmers who can’t stand on their own feet without govenment handouts from engaging in agriculture.

    Most of the concrete things I hear from the ULP about economics leads me to believe they will repeat the errors of the present government. I fear that putting this party in power will be like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Please tell me how and why I am wrong!

    1. james the lion monroe says:

      I don’t you’re at all. Wait until his is prime minister, then we as vincies will eat fire,cause that’s his intention, to make his foreign born, the next prime minister of svg, god help, cause the people will be bribed and they will vote for him.

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