The National Democratic Congress encourages all nutmeg and cocoa farmers to unite in the struggle against the present attempts by government to highjack the Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) and the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA).
This latest move by the NNP administration is not motivated by what is in the best interest of the nutmeg and cocoa farmers of Grenada, but rather, to advance the private interests of a few. We, therefore, call on all farmers and indeed, all the people of Grenada to stand in solidarity with the nutmeg and cocoa farmers in strongly opposing this planned hostile takeover.
The plan is to dismantle the two associations and merge them into a single new entity controlled entirely by Keith Mitchell, where his appointed Minister of Agriculture will have the right to handpick a chairman of the board of directors from among a handpicked board. This one-sided plan presents an existential threat to the very survival of the nutmeg and cocoa industries in Grenada. If allowed to succeed, Keith Mitchell and his cronies will have free reign to fully control our nutmeg and cocoa sales and revenues, so that those around him, including his immediate family can benefit, just as they did in the failed business, Call Centres Grenada Inc., with no benefit coming to the people of Grenada.
The NDC insists that the farmers who now own the GCNA and the GCA must be at the centre of any attempt to improve the performance of the nutmeg and cocoa industries. Control of the industry must remain with the farmers, ordinary Grenadians, who now have the power to elect their own board.
NDC, therefore, calls on government to abandon the proposed merger and work with farmers with a view to strengthening, not dismantling the current structures.