By Machela Osagboro
Further industrial action has been averted as work has started and will continue on the rebranding and reconstruction of the Peasant Development Office (PDO), headquarters of the Agriculture Extension Officers.
Senior Extension Officer, Owolabi Elabanjo, spoke with OBSERVER media and stated that, “the contractor seems to be on time with some of the deadlines, so we are very optimistic that things are going good.”He added that, “some of the other promises as well, we been hearing good news about them.”
Elabanjo applauded the efforts of the new Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Samantha Marshall, for playing a major role in this initiative. He said that the department has also received new equipment and office furniture as part of improvements to the working environment for staff.
He said that Minister Samantha Marshall has a good plan that is very promising. The newly appointed minister had visited three of the departments within the ministry, promising improvements by the end of the year.
In addition, a meeting was held with Elabanjo and his officers last Wednesday, and according to Elabanjo, they have committed themselves to improving the services provided by the ministry to the farmers and the community at large. He asserted that they have all accepted the challenge of the ministry and the government to perform, and make sure that the Antigua and Barbudan agricultural product surpasses that of any of its competitors in the region.
As it relates to Barbuda, the senior extension officer said that there are many plans in the works, however they are eagerly awaiting an invitation from the Council. Elabanjo said “we are waiting on them to give us an official invitation because we can’t just plan for Barbuda, Barbuda has to have input into the plan”.
He said that they need to have a comprehensive meeting that will formulate a strategy that will come with a lucrative and sustainable solution to improving the agricultural output of the island, and that will benefit the country as a whole.