by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Kevin Peterkin is Progress Party’s newest candidate
- Number of strategies within its manifesto geared at revamping the agriculture sector
- 13 March election date may signal the start of a new revolution for the country going forward.
Poverty Reduction through Entrepreneurship is among top priorities listed in the Progress Party’s manifesto as they are set to contest the general election scheduled for 13 March.
The Progress Party’s newest candidate, Kevin Peterkin says he has joined a core team whose mandate for change will revamp Grenada’s economy especially in the area of job creation through the promotion of local entrepreneurship.
Peterkin hails from the community of La Borie, and once served as a marketing executive of one of Grenada’s telecommunications companies. He has now set his focus to creating change to Grenada’s political landscape.
In an interview with NOW Grenada, the St George South East constituency candidate spoke of what led him to join the party. “A lot of the ideas I had are actually in keeping with the party’s manifesto and development plans for Grenada on a whole, so my ticket with the Progress Party is basically as a result of the Progress Party representing what I represent as a person, which is honesty, integrity, truthfulness and really representing the people and not playing games.”
Peterkin said what has been lacking in Grenadian politics is youth dynamism bringing fresh ideas to the table. “Is it not time for us to focus on us and not the games? The fact of the matter is we have all the information out there; with the advent of technology nothing can be withheld from us, especially the truth. If there was something you expected to see happen in the last 25 years and it didn’t happen… it just means that we need fresh blood with young ideas who is going to be bold enough to implement those ideas.”
Written within the party’s manifesto is a list of top priorities that the party envisions will transform Grenada’s economy:
- Poverty reduction
- Developing a robust agrarian society
- Improving our public health care system
- Managing public funds efficiently
- Environmental sustainability
- Renewable energy
- Social development programmes and services
- Debt restructuring or reduction
- Community outreach programmes
- Reducing the unemployment rate among young people
- Mentorship and counselling programmes for post-secondary students
- Curb alcoholism and drug abuse among young people
- Triple educational opportunities
- Job creation to spur economic growth
- Knowledge-based economy
- Food and water security
- Integrated waste management
- Parliament outreach programmes
- Youth empowerment programmes
- Tourism development
- Culture and heritage preservation
- Opportunities for entrepreneurs
- Local government
- Development of rural communities
The party also outlined a number of strategies within its manifesto geared at revamping the agriculture sector:
- Remove barriers on consumer food supply chain in the country.
- Information systems: Accelerate the inclusion of technology to collect, analyse and disseminate accurate data to farmers, especially in relations to production, imports, crop yields, weather and environmental sustainability. This initiative would complement existing systems to enhance global market information sharing.
- Build strong and supportive public-private partnership: Actively collaborate with the private sector and other NGOs for their expertise on efficient marketing systems for food, and on situation-specific procurement to prevent domestic price volatility.
- Establish ‘The Grenada Council of Agricultural Research and Development’ (GCARD) to implement best practices relating to a sustainable Blue Economy, the protection of farmlands from pests and soil erosion, physical degradation and others. The aim is to improve data reliability, timeliness, and frequency. Also, GCARD would have the additional function to develop policies.
- Launch educational programmes to educate the public on strategies they can employ to fight rising prices. This initiative would help reduce dependency on imported or processed foods while stimulating local food production and supply.
In commenting on the 13 March election date put forward by Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, Basel Williams, Deputy Political Leader of the Progress Party said this significant date in Grenada’s history may signal the start of a new revolution for the country going forward.
“Some people might look at it a little bit deeper and say there will be a new revolution, the youth are fed up, they are going to get involved and we going to see a change you might see a swing vote you never know; so, I hope this date will serve as a lesson to many of us. We would like for that same date to be memorable going forward that is something reminiscent of 13 March 1979.”