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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 45 - Monday July 28, 2003
A Totally Organic Farming Nation
by: Colin Lees- Nature Island Destination Ltd

I enjoyed reading the recent article by Neil Nixon, which reflects on our dwindling agricultural export performance. He talks a lot of sense and I hope it is read by those in a position to take the decisions necessary to make a difference.

It is not only in the United States where the demand for a wide selection of organically grown tropical produce is rapidly growing. This trend is apparent too in the United Kingdom, also an important export market for Dominica, to where we are not fully utilizing our space allocation on the fortnightly banana boats to Southampton.

What is particularly sad, I feel, is that we small Caribbean nations are not trading adequately amongst ourselves. Why, for instance, can we not find Grenada's nutmeg jam, oil or liqueur in any Dominican store, or Dominica's bay rum and aloe vera soap or shampoo for sale on the shelves of Grenadian supermarkets?

This is a home market we should be trying to exploit to its full potential. We should also be exporting our tropical produce to our neighbouring islands in a way which benefits us more financially. This market is currently dominated by hucksters, who pay little or no tax in Dominica and whose profits are mostly spent away from Dominica, thus providing little stimulation to our own sluggish economy.

As well as improved marketing techniques, I believe that one of the most sensible approaches for Dominica to adopt would be not simply to embrace organic farming methods, but to initiate the transition to becoming a totally 'ORGANIC' farming nation.

A move towards agricultural diversification and away from all this harmful and costly chemical farming would nicely complement Dominica's image and self projection as the 'Nature Island of the Caribbean'. Our motto after all is - 'After God, the Earth', of which Dominicans are very proud.

The word 'Eco' is flaunted endlessly in attempts to promote tourism - so let's give these words and phrases some real value and meaning, instead of merely paying lip service! Already Grenada and Saint Lucia have recognized the trend and have begun moving in this direction, when it should rightly be Dominica leading the way.

Note:- some of these and other views on ways forward for Dominica were expressed last summer in a six part editorial, appearing in Dominica's weekly Tropical Star newspaper. This may still be read on-line at the following URL: http://www.natureisland.com/viewpoint.html/

Comments about this article? Email:
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thedominican.net
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Volume No. 1 Issue No. 45
A Totally organic Farming Nation
Internet Access to Rural Schools
Graduation Ceremony of Dominica State College
Cultural Development Fund
The Summer of Discontent?




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