George says farmers are fending for themselves against new pest, and warns that okra and sorrel prices have increased

The Ministry of Agriculture’s lack of interest in the sector and in farmers, on a whole, continues to hamper the improvement of Antigua and Barbuda’s food security,  according to farmer Caudley George.

As evidence, George speaks to the struggles of farmers – including backyard gardeners – with lack of water; larceny; and pests, the most recent being a plant hopper that is devastating okra and sorrel crops.

And he claims that farmers have been left to fend for themselves with regard to the latest infestation.

According to George, the Government seems satisfied to continue importing food rather than helping farmers to meet the demand.

Meanwhile, addressing the recent food shortages, George says some produce, including pumpkin, is back on the market, albeit in limited supply.

He notes, however, that due to the infestation of the plant hopper, okra remains scarce, and the price on the available supply has increased.

George is placing the public on notice that the price of sorrel, one of the plants impacted by the pest, will increase this Christmas.