Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar.

The Argyle International Airport, which opens Feb. 14, “is going to create a very important opportunity for the farmers and fishers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” says Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar.

“We are going to see a very important window opening to our farmers to take produce directly from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and also fish, to Canada and also to the United States of America in the first instance, and, later on, to the United kingdom,” he said at an event on Wednesday announcing an inter-regional initiative for the shipment of agricultural produce.

Caesar said, additional, his ministry has started discussions with WINFRESH to use the Geest vessel to transport agricultural produce to the Untied Kingdom and also to work with some of the warehouse faculties in the United Kingdom managed by WINFRESH for the creation of storage capacity.

The EC$629 million airport will begin operating with two chartered international flights to mark the Feb. 14 opening.

It begins operating six years behind schedule and without any international carriers committed to scheduled flight in out of the facility.

Regional shipping initiative offers more market for Vincentian produce

17 replies on “New airport will create ‘important opportunity’ for farmers, fishers”

  1. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Saboto, lad, is freight cost a factor? If no, fine. But that means we pay, so, no, it is not fine. If yes, why are you not talking about it? So, let’s. What would it be per pound to Canada? To the US? How do we compare to the competition?

    This next question applies to both produce and fish but fish is more expensive and critical, so I am asking about fish. From boat to plane, what is the costs for keep per pound? Tell us the logistics from catch to plane.

    What about the supermarket, Food Savers Supermarket in Brooklyn, you told us about in 2015, that had placed an order for thirty thousand pounds (13.5 tons) of fish per week? Are they still hooked? Are they waiting? Well, good, because we are there, aren’t we? All now so is the cusp.

  2. Mr. Chance, why do you have to raise my pressure so early in the morning by printing mindless government propaganda about flying agricultural produce overseas from Argyle, a specious claim this regime has been making for years.

    1. We don’t have the volume to sustain reliable shipments of marine and land produce.

    2. We can hardly now meet our national needs for many raw food items, including fish.

    3. Tens of thousands of tonnes of fresh and frozen food produce enters our country ever year by ship from all corners of the world. Why should shipping produce overseas from the mainland be any different with the construction of an international airport?

    4. Most of our fish and nearly all of our ground and tree crops are now more expensive locally than their counterparts sold in London, New York, and Toronto which reach there by refrigerated ship from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and a couple of large-scale Caribbean producers.

  3. I just wish they would stop filling ignorant peoples minds with such rubbish. Flying low priced produce anywhere is never going to happen. The cost of special packing of produce and fish for air transport linked with the freight price would make a cheap item very expensive and unsaleable.

    Everything that is grown in SVG is grown in the US for half the price.

    The UK can get all the same items from Africa at half the price.

    In the UK they fly some high value fish in from around the globe. But the starting price the supplying fisher folk get is a quarter of the price the fisher folk expect in SVG. Unless the fish is a high value fish in the UK forget about air freight. Red snapper and such common fish in SVG are not high value fish anywhere. We are talking about marlin and the very big tuna, neither of which our fisher folk ever catch.

    So forget about this nonsense statement about flying produce and fish from Argyle. They have not even built refrigerated warehousing at the airport to accommodate such exports. A requirement of other countries when buying. Secondly permission is required to export to the UK or EU and they have never granted that permission in the past because we cannot meet the standards

    Yes it pays to ship some of our flowers because they are viewed as exotic and fetch high prices in London and Paris. But as for the rest forget it, they are either liars or dreamers I just hope the people can be wise enough to see through this political propaganda nonsense.

  4. Yes, the airport could help us get agricultural products abroad. The problem is that at the present time when we consider other nations that can grow the same products we do, SVG is possibly the most expensive on earth. Why would anyone buy our products when they can get the same thing from Guyana for less than 1/4 the price? The reason is SVG has astronomically high taxes and duties. Also: I thought the airport…so far…has cost us 769 million EC. Here it says 629 million. Did we get a rebate? I am sure the real cost is over 1 billion but that will not be mentioned for a few years. …C. ben…where are you? Please weigh in on this for us. Do you have any real news on the airport being used for shipping agro-products economically? Governments tend to engage in “fake news”, as you know. What Is the truth of this working for our very expensive agro-products?

  5. Dave from Toronto says:

    Lostpet and C. b-D,

    Once again, you guys are landing short of the runway on this one. The whole business of building infrastructure, in this case AIA, is not just about shipping what we already produce. It’s about creating AND EXPANDING the opportunities for local businesses and individuals to get goods and service to existing and new markets. Hey, I would prefer fresh fish flown in the same day than fish brought here by refrigerated ship.

    You said we don’t have a high volume of good to ship overseas. That might be true. You also said the cost of production is high. That might also be true. But, what you are missing is that as citizens learn about the new markets, it would create incentives to expand production, thus leading to lower prices through economies of scale. Hey, it’s Econ 101.

    Maybe, now is your opportunity to start a small farm. Also, if the VAT is too high, your efforts here could be to lobby for special tax incentives for businesses and individuals exporting goods through AIA.

    1. Once again, you are a few bricks short of a load.

      Unless you are living in an underground shelter in Mississauga or Scarborough, you should know that live fish, lobsters, etc. are already shipped across the seas by cargo vessel and inland by train and trucks to markets all around the world, including Toronto.

      Go down to Kensington, St. Lawrence or other markets when you get some day parole and ask those in the know how and where they get their live, fresh, chilled, and frozen process from. You will be sure to find our hardly any arrives by plane.

      You also deliberately fail to comprehend that airports are built or expanded mainly to address expanding demand rather than to create some new demand that does not even exist except perhaps in the minds of uniformed or politically motivated individuals.

      You also miss the point that there are simply no new markets for our citizens to learn about that are not already well served by huge producing countries we could never hope to compete with. Have you learned nothing about the demise of our banana and other agricultural industries or the shift of manufacturing to cheaper producers?

      With all due respect, it seems to me that you have never taken an economics course in your life and know not a thing about the economic history of our country.

      What you are very good at though is spouting the Labour love political propaganda of the ULP.

      1. Dave from Toronto says:

        Wow! Someone had a little too much Sunset over the weekend. The sure sign of someone losing a debate is when they start resorting to insults. You keep writing all this nonsense, yet the airport keeps progressing day by day. Soon, it will be an operational success and you’ll be proven to be a false prophet.

        Seems to me that you are the one on parole. Judging by the sick comments you made a few weeks ago, most of the readers should be able to guess what you were in for. I think that is why you hate SVG so much. If you loved SVG, you would spend your wasted time volunteering for the betterment of SVG, such as tutoring kids who cannot read or write.

        You need to stop trying to con the people of SVG. I doubt that you are a real vincy. Why not state your credentials and affiliation and picture and let the readers decide? What are you hiding?!!

        Maybe, the Ministry of National Security might want to keep an eye on you. I’m sure there is some provisions for treasonous writing. All you are doing is corrupting the minds of people of SVG and instilling a lack of hope and desperation in young people. This is detrimental to the development and SECURITY of this country.

    2. Sorry Dave, but C. ben is right. We will never be able to take over any market with our extremely high costing products. And note, the ULP has no interest in lowering prices. They are Keynesian, They want things to be as expensive as possible and believe then they get more tax revenue. They do not realize that our prices are way too high causing NO business,(unless local). because no one wants to pay SVG prices.

      1. Dave is not interested in the accuracy of your or my comments, only in saying nice things about this covernment.

      2. Dave from Toronto says:

        C. b-D,

        I don’t think your read very well. At no point have I ever said anything pro or anti-government or opposition in any of my comments, unlike you with your anti-ruling party rants.

        All my comments have been about promoting the economy of the SVG. As I have said on many occasions, AIA does not belong to the present or future government. It is owned by the people of SVG. For full disclosure, I did make a donation to the AIA fund because I think it will be a very good asset for all of us. I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. I’m not just sitting here mouthing off.

        In addition, I still have property in SVG, so my taxes are also contributing to its construction.

      1. Dave from Toronto says:

        Lostpet, I think you are completely lost. Either you are C.b-D’s pet puppet or you are actually C.b-D. I know he uses many handles on this site to respond to his own messages.

  6. The reasons our produce is so uncompetitive, as you correctly point out, are:

    1. low levels of production on tiny holdings which translates into a higher profit demand from both growers and sellers.

    2. a lack of mechanization (which also adversely affects productivity) party due to the inability to afford labour-saving mechanical tools, the small size of holdings (which makes mechanization impractical), and a very hilly terrain (which also makes mechanization impractical).

    3. The demise of estate agriculture which had the potential at least to increase productivity via mechanization and intensive production.

    3. a generalized and long standing aversion to manual agricultural labour which then translates into low production levels.

    4. land fragmentation (via the selling off of many unproductive estates long ago) which makes for low productivity.

    There are other well known factors as well but overall we will never see much if any produce from the land or sea shipped via cargo plane. Ain’t going to happen, as Caesar and others well know.

  7. Dave from Toronto think yourself lucky you will not get and Vincentian fish in Canada.

    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has dirty and unsanitary fishing boats, using dirty and unsanitary storage methods prior to landing.

    The fish docks are dirty and unsanitary. The fish markets are dirty and unsanitary. The place of sale is dirty and unsanitary, and the preparation areas are dirty and unsanitary.
    To cap all some of the fisher folks are also dirty and unsanitary.

    The fish centres are riddled with rats and also because of the rats and smell of fish lots of feral cats are present at night.

    The Calliaqua fish market along with the sales and preparation areas are next to a dirty stinking stagnant river that only flows when it rains. At the mouth of the river is a sand bar that keeps the stagnant water from draining into the sea when it’s not raining.
    The stinking water is full of rubbish and mosquito larvae.

    There is a very real serious risk of catching leptospirosis. Spread by rats that swim in dirty water then walking over the fish cutting boards at night. Rat bites and scratches can result in a number of diseases including rat-bite fever. Rat urine is responsible for the spread of leptospirosis, which can result in liver and kidney damage in humans and most animals. Even cats can catch it after killing and eating rats. Humans can then catch it from rat infected animals, cats, dogs, goats, sheep, cows etc. Leptospirosis can also be contracted through handling or inhalation of scat [dried rat poop]. Rats are incontinent and pee every few steps, they pollute everywhere they are present.

    I am sure someone will come forward and deny what I have written but it absolute fact.

    Some of what I have written is the reason behind the EU refusing to licence importation into the European Union of fish from SVG. There is a lot more I can impart and will as the debate and denials go forward.

    1. Dave from Toronto says:

      Peter,

      I understand what you are saying. My respond is that, if citizens are ready to embrace the opportunities, the AIA could be a catalyst for economic growth in SVG. This growth could generate the revenue needed to improve living conditions for the people through the improvement of infrastructure.

  8. Dave from Toronto says:

    This guy c.b d keeps writing all this garbage to compensate for some SHORTcomings in his personal life. No matter how much nonsense he writes, it would not be enough to compensate.

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