The justification and rationale advanced by the Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat and Housing Minister Randall Mitchell for callous confiscating arable Grade 1 lands that belongs and is a part of the St. Augustine Nurseries is not part of the actual Nursery is an attempt to deflect and distract from the State’s action.
On Friday 23rd December 2017, on the eve of the Christmas observances when the nation’s attention was distracted the HDC held a public consultation on the proposed project. It was of no surprise that very few persons attended. Similarly, on Fantastic Friday 2018 only twelve persons attended as a result of the Carnival festivities.
These consultations were also only advertised via handbills distributed in the nearby areas. It should be of concern that there is a pattern of conduct by the HDC to host consultations so as to obtain minimal participation possible.
Was this orchestrated consultation engineered to get minimal resistance only to check a box for the purpose of satisfying the Environmental Management Act Chp 35:05? Has the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process been purposely subverted in order to fast track this political housing development in the very marginal seat of St. Joseph.
Successive governments have invested significantly into the development and preservation of the St. Augustine Nurseries because this present administration has no foresight for its continued enhancement should not give them the right to destroy this legacy of our national patrimony. The St. Augustine Nurseries along with Marper Farms in particular have made inroads in providing planting stock for the various citrus farms nationally.
Any lands grafted to the nearby HDC apartment complex by way the August 2017 Cabinet Minute #1376 will have an adverse impact on the agricultural sector. It is ironic that the Rowley Administration repeats the assertion that agriculture is method to diversify the economy yet every action of the government is to destroy or retard the sector.
Former Minister of Food Production