Farmers plan to protest EPA talks

Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

Farmers plan to protest EPA talks

Thursday, 16 March 2006

Protest action could affect negotiations between the European Union and Barbados and other Cariforum countries next week.

Farmers from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean states have expressed interest in holding some form of action similar to that at the launch of the Economic Partnership Agreement in St. Lucia last September.

From March 21 to 30 Barbados is to host the E.P.A. deliberations, it is an arrangement which seeks to replace the preferential agreement with the E.U. and establish a new way forward.

Senior programme officer at the Caribbean Policy Development Centre, Shantal Munroe Knight, says about five thousand people were mobilised in St. Lucia.

She says they were able to get a meeting with regional negotiators to air their concerns but adds that up until now there has been no clear indication from anyone of the areas the region will actually be able to negotiate.

Still on the topic of the Economic Partnership Agreement, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul says the stakes are very high with the latest set of negotiations.

He says the dairy, poultry and vegetable sectors could be severely impacted by the process and he is telling Barbados and other regional governments not to give in easily.

source: CBC