Playing Chicken with Poultry Industry

Dear Editor,
I wish to share some of my frustrations with your readers and I hope that my point doesn’t get lost in my anger and disappointment in our Government.
The world at large is sick of self-serving Government and St Lucia is no exception to that plague. I am often puzzled by many of the decisions made by our government because I fail to see how it benefits the St Lucian community at large.
I am not claiming to be an expert in political science or even the running of our local government, however tracing a few key decisions made by our Government is seems to me that those decisions were geared towards profiting and securing financial stability for the elite, yes the “Elite” the few who sit at the head of our economical food chain.
Our true loyalties lie with the people and organizations that we associate with on a personal level. Based on that well established fact let me ask you this. Once elections are said and done, how many politicians you know go out there filling in applications and go job hunting? Or mingle with the commoner? The primary reason for that is no matter what side of the isle they sit in, they are still all part of the same small group of people approximately 3% of the total populations which make up the “Elite”. So let me ask you another question, where do you think the loyalty of our Decision Makers lie?
I am fed-up of this role-reversal where Government thinks it’s the citizens’ job to serve then, rather than the true order of things where the Government serves its people. At this point I would like to focus on an issue that affects me on a personal level. Local Animal Husbandry, specifically broiler farming, being a new farmer myself.
I can’t possibly understand why local broiler farmer are limited by our Government to a production security of only 20 percent in an industry that should be predominately local. It comes back to the whole role-reversal scenario. We as local farmers should not be fighting for percentage against foreigner markets. It should be the other way around. There is no realistic justification that benefits local citizens for foreign markets to control 80 percent of St Lucia’s broiler industry. With a little commitment from our government our broiler industry can be fully sustained locally. Recently the government argued that the reason we (St Lucia) need to rely on Foreign markets
so heavily for our poultry need is because St Lucia can’t meet the demand. How could we ever meet the demand when it’s the Government themselves limiting the growth of the local broiler industry by
putting a cap on the local production of a mere 20 percent? It is my opinion that foreign markets should only be given supplementary contracts which only cover what we can’t produce locally. There should be no restrictions on local production and if there is a need to put a limit
on local production, I see no need for it to be any less than 60 percent.
I welcome fair trade and globe competition but how is it fair if we are being cheated from the very beginning. With the raising prices of fuel driving the cost of production through the roof, there is no way that importing poultry and poultry productions from foreign countries could be cheaper than local production. Which means that local citizens are left to pay much higher prices for basic needs that they don’t necessarily have to incur, just because our Government refuses to put it’s people first.
The latest decision made by our Government regarding our poultry
industry is not only heart breaking but also insulting. The November 04th 2011 headline on the international web site, The poultry read “St. Lucia Accepts US Cooked Poultry Products” The word “St Lucia” does not mean the 17 gamblers that make up our Government who use St Lucian citizen’s life as chips, but rather it’s us, the people. So when did we as a whole decide to allow foreign markets to rape as blind, further ensuring that the St. Lucian dollar does not
stay in St. Lucia to build our own economy?
The action of the Government of St. Lucia through its decision making, says to the world at large that St. Lucians have become so incompetent or lazy that not only we have to import 80% of our poultry needs, but we can’t even cook it.
It seems to me that the Government of St. Lucia takes advantage of
every opportunity it gets to strip us locals of our independence and leave us at the mercy of foreign markets. We as St Lucians enjoy a false sense of independence and as far as I can tell the Government is doing very little to bring us back to the glory days.
The United Nations in their 2009 annual report on the Caribbean stated that St Lucia amongst other Caribbean countries need to change their model for economical growth, in summary we need to become more self-sustained, but how is that possible if our Government would not
even give as an opportunity to invest in ourselves and secure the future of our children?
I would be very interested in an inquiry probing into the decisions made over the last seven years regarding the local poultry industry and who are the true beneficiaries of these decisions. One thing for sure, it’s not the general public and its struggling citizens. Whilst I would be interested in the results, it’s highly unlikely I will be surprised by the results of such an investigation.
The St Lucia government launched a campaign for St. Lucian citizens living abroad to invest in St Lucia, citizens like my wife and I, but
who in their right mind would do such a thing knowing that the government is doing nothing to protect the investments of St Lucian
citizens. Furthermore what are we to invest in when the Government has basically sold out St Lucia to the foreign world.
This is a plea to the     Government of St Lucia, restore balance in
commerce so that St Lucians could have a chance to benefit from their own economy.
We are breeding a generation of angry, frustrated young people and when this reaches critical mass, which by all accounts will be very soon, these young people will be out for blood, literally. Look at the world today Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. People are fed-up of self serving government.
In closing I urge St Lucians to take a personal interest in the affairs of St Lucia and truly support each other, support our local farmers and other citizen investors, that is the only way we as a people can survive and enjoy the freedoms that the rest of the world enjoys.
I miss St Lucia so very much but I can’t come home permanently, there is no future for someone like me who want more than to live from cheque to cheque. We have had a failing Government for the last ten years, we need serious change.

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