| Material Information
||We can learn from Barbados
||July 21, 1995
Th* OneyNNew.% FiWay. Juy 21.
We can learn from Barbados
For the past six days. I was
awakened by doves as they sang
their lovely song in front of my
hotel room in Barbados. where the
31ut annual Caribbean Food Crops
Society meetings wer bhel.
This agricultural society was
founded in St. Croix in the early
1960s. Many Caribbe agriculmal
scientist and scientist from Cana-
da. North ad Cannml America par-
ucipated in dhe presentatio of tech-
nical papers oa food crop produc-
zion in the Caribbean.
Prom the Virgia Islands. lauen-
al people in the eid of agriculture
atteded the meetings. including
Commissioner of Agriculture Dr.
Arthur Peterse Jr.: former Com-
missioner of Agriculture Oscar E
Henry Assistant Commissioner of
Agriculture Dr. Akil Petersen;. Vice
President. research and land-grant
affairs of the University of tbe Vir.
gin Islands DrS.Darshan Padda
I enjoyed my stay in Barbados..
But you know. anny people of the
Virgin Islands are conecred by anm.
iy room to the people of Barbedos.
This began during di importation of
slaves from Arica to he Caibben.
But even further, people used to
travel from St. Croix. St. Kitts.
Aigus. Domniican Republic, Puer-
to Rico. Barbados. and other
Carbbean islands citing sugarcane.
As a matter of fact. a lot of peo
ple on St. Croix who are in their 40s
and up are descended from many
other Caribbean islands. Personally.
I came in contact with many people
on St. Croix that told me bow it was
when they first cme to St. Croix to
work and cut sugascne in Belhle.
hem and other estates on he island.
You see whe I see the people of
Barados ad the surrounding envi-
ronment. I see myself In the way
they look and live in their natural
setting. As Virgin Islanders many
of us separate ourselves from other
Caribbean people simply because
we are American citizens. Many of
us think so highly of ourselves. we
believe we are better than our
Caribbean brothers and sisars-
The Virgin Islands are paet of
the Caribbean. but we trade and
exchange ideals more with the
mainland han with our Caribbean
neighbors. Because of ignorance,
many of us do no believe that other
Caribbean islands have anything to
offer to us. Believe me we are so
wrong. The late Gov. Cyril King
had the vision to reach out to St.
Kits and other Caribbean islands to
exchange ideas of trade and how
the Caribbean islands economy as
a whole could grow and benefit
from each other and beyond the
Our cultures in many ways are
similar in ood preparation. choice
of words. and other things which
make us so unique as Caribbean
people. Barbados has so much to
offer to us. This Caribbean island
became independent from Britain in
1966. In many ways. the landscape
of Barbdos is similar to SL Croix.
I was impressed with the agriculture
industry in Barubdaos.
This island country feeds itself
by supplying its people with home
grown food. Sugarcane remains a
____ island is able to produce food in
abundance because of underground
aquiflers which supply water to
Da1tS both residents ad te agriculture
Our muaoy. This i mainly due to the
wor m formatioo of the island millions of
years ago by limestone and coral.
which created rvers underground
instead of above.
big crop on the island, but such Besides the strong agricultural
crops as carrots, onions, beans, economy. oil Is another natural
sweet potatoes.'cabbage. tomatoes, resource Barbados bes. Throughout
eggpla and other vegetables grow the iarne lds. you can see
in an abudance. the pumping of oil. This natural
Ob no, the agriculture industry resource supplies the island with
in Barbados is not primitive. but gas and oter byproducts.
modernized with sophisticated The tori indmusy easo plays a
equipment from planning, irrigation major role in the island's coomy.
system. artili~er. p-sici manage- Million of tourists, mostly from
ment to harvesting. Europe. flock to Barbado to soak
To me. it was so cultural to see up the island sun and explore the
women with their head tie in environment.
African style along with children. My most memorable moments
and men in the fields harvesting of Berbados are the hospitality of
crops. As the members of the the peop( and the chanting envi-
Caribbean Pood Corps Society ronment. Net week. I will discuss
toured the island visiting frms and the history. people. culture and the
seeing historical sites, we earned environmem of Barbdos.
hal many of the food crops are
erpored to the European market. Olasse Davis. who hold, a msr-
The island also produces as own or of science degree i raoe masn-
milk. moss. orange juice, and other ogemenr and forestry ecolof. is a
local products. Barbados has no St. Croix ecologist. activist and
permanent rivers or streams. but the writer.
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