Move to show ‘we care’ Flow sending tech team to countries
THE NATION PUBLISHING CO. LIMITED and Starcom Network have partnered with the Rotary Clubs of Barbados to launch the We Care: One Caribbean, One People Hurricane Relief effort.
This charitable initiative is seeking to raise much-needed funds for regional territories, severely impacted by Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful weather systems ever recorded.
On September 5, life for many living in the region changed drastically as Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, affected islands in the northern Caribbean, including Anguilla, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, St Martin/st Maarten and St Bart’s, US Virgin Islands, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos. Many people have been left without basic everyday needs – shelter, food, water and clothing.
Under the theme We Care: One Caribbean, One People, the joint hurricane relief effort appeals to Barbadians to make financial donations in aid of rebuilding the lives of those affected. Well known for its humanitarian efforts and successful coordination of relief drives, the Rotary Clubs of Barbados will be distributing the financial contributions through their clubs in each of the affected islands.
Cash donations can be made to the Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotiabank – Account name: Nation Benevolent Fund, Account No. 40055-9019256, or CIBC Firstcaribbean International Bank Limited - Account name: Help – Starcom Network Inc., Account No. 2645374. Cheques can be written to the account names listed for each account.
The We Care campaign will also seek to highlight other legitimate options for donating non-cash items. Those interested in listing their relief efforts can send relevant information to marketing@ nationnews.com for inclusion in the press ads.
On Saturday, September 16, the Starcom Network of stations (VOB 92.9 FM, Life 97.5 FM, The Beat 104.1 FM and HOTT 95.3 FM) will be hosting a radiothon in partnership with Nation Publishing and the Rotary Clubs in Barbados to receive pledges and donations. This fundraising drive takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information and updates, interested persons can check the social channels of Starcom Network and the Nation Publishing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (PR)
A ST LUCY FARMER fears a lack of proper governmental support, limited market access and prejudice could cripple the agricultural industry.
Arthur Smith, who was struggling to get thousands of pawpaws sold last December, told These Fields And Hills these problems should not exist, especially in an environment where local farmers were growing quality produce and the country is experiencing a large deficit.
During a tour of his Barrows farm where he grows sweet potatoes, bananas, pawpaws, okras and watermelons, he explained how these pitfalls were affecting business.
“In the 90s we had a thriving banana industry, but in recent years, a lot of the supermarkets prefer to purchase from importers,” he said. “So rather than the market getting bigger for local bananas, it receded.”
Smith said the quality of imported bananas could not match the locally grown ones.
“But things in Barbados would continue to be so as long as someone prefers you. Produce should have a standard for sale, but people believe certain people should not be doing certain things. So anything would do when people are biased against you,” he claimed.
Smith said there was a growing concern in the farming community about governmental agriculture procurements. He said more and more farmers were questioning from where Government received produce to supply its institutions.
“We believe a lot of imported produce is used at the School Meals service,” he said. “If you check it out, you would see that Government procurements from the country are only about four per cent. So most of the food for Queen Elizabeth, the Geriatric and Psychiatric Hospital, the prison and so on do not come from us.”
Smith said this showed a lack of confidence in the farmers.
“When have you seen or heard about a minister touring a local farm [outside of elections] and encouraging the guys to produce?” he queried.
“When it comes to procurement, they like to use the excuse, ‘Local farmers can’t supply the demand and are not consistent’, but I question that. The Ministry of Agriculture has extension officers that visit farms. Can they not tell their minister what farmers have on the farms?”
Smith wants to see greater market access.
“When farmers sell produce to supermarkets and reach a certain amount, they are stopped and told ‘no more’, but you have staff and national insurance to pay. So direct access is a problem and when you try to manoeuvre around this problem and sell to a middle man, it is worse.
“Oftentimes, the middle man does not pay in cash and gives you cheques, but when you take them to the bank the cheques are bounced. I have several cheques dating back about three years ago that are bounced and some I have thrown away. If there was some form of protectionism for farmers in that supermarkets had to take a large quota of local food, this challenge would be averted.”
Smith also said too much emphasis was placed on the sugar cane industry and more investment should be made into alternative crops.