Vox pop for Western Focus
What do you think about the bold initiative by the Rastafari Sankofa Eco Warriors to cultivate chemical-free (organic) rice commercially in Hanover?
Rice used to be planted by the Indians who worked at the Harding Hall Sugar Estate. We would have to identify the wetland areas in Hanover. I don't know if that many areas still exist in the parish as they did 30, 40 years ago. It could be pursued and should be viable once carefully managed.
- James Thompson, tour bus operator.
I think they should give it a try. yes. One of my neighbours in Green Island used to plant the old time coolie rice across the road from where I live a long time ago for domestic purposes and he used to reap a lot of crocus bags of rice. The older people always ask for the coolie rice.
- Marcele Bogle, education worker
Of course! As long as we are able to maintain it because it doesn't make sense we start and stop. It will help to reduce importation because we import so much rice and even red peas, which is ridiculous. A lot of people dump up the swamp areas which were used for rice cultivation, so I don't know if we have a lot of wetland areas still, though.
- Anthony Walker, councillor, Cauldwell Division
It is a good idea. How feasible it will be is another matter, because rice is something that is heavily dependent on rainfall, so that is something we have to take into consideration. You can't depend on NWC water because rice needs a lot of water. Perhaps, we can get irrigation systems set up near the rivers and so on that we can use. Places like Green Island, Orange Bay, Prospect, and Chester Castle would be suitable
- Donald Campbell, farmer
Anything that would stimulate production would be welcome. We have the swamp-lands that are suitable for rice cultivation, plus brown rice is healthy as opposed to the white rice, which is more starchy. I endorse it fully.
- Dwayne Clayton, chairman, Lucea Development Area Committee