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Barbados: BAS Recommends Import Ban On Some Produce Items

The Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) has recommended a ban on the importation of certain produce, which could reduce the island’s $700 million food import bill by at least $2 million.

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At a press conference at the BAS’ headquarters recently, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Paul said that farmers had the capacity to satisfy local demand for pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, and carrots, but the importation of those fruits and vegetables was undermining the industry.

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Mr Paul argues that those imports should be banned regardless of whether they are coming from CARICOM.

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He contends that Barbadian farmers possess the capability to produce those products at very competitive prices. 

Paul added that it made no sense to ask farmers to ramp up production to boost the country’s food security when imports were still saturating the local market and forcing farmers to sell their products way below market price.

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Paul told reporters that one or two containers of bananas had recently been imported, significantly impacting the island’s four major producers