Sealy lauds Sir Clifford’s efforts in agricultural development

This country’s longest serving Governor General, the late Sir Clifford Husbands, has been remembered for the outstanding contribution he made to national life and the development of agriculture.

Joining fellow Members of Parliament (MPs) in paying tribute to the former Governor General who passed away last month, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy spoke glowingly of the man he knew from his teenage days, who, he said was a strict disciplinarian, but always meant well.

Sealy also told the Lower House that “agriculture was in his blood” and Sir Clifford’ passion for agriculture and agricultural development was evident to anyone who knew him.

“You would have heard in the tribute by Brian Clarke during the state funeral, [he] mentioned the fact that his house is probably the only one in Barbados that you would see a full-fledged cane field in the front of it. And it is a fact, when you turn the drive way, not in the back, in the front was an entire cane field, but what else existed on that property was not only the cane field, but under the house in the cellar area was a sugar cane factory too. He used to grind cane and bottle it… fresh cane juice à la Clifford Husbands was available from Super Centre at Holetown,” he said.

Sealy added, “It is noteworthy that the personality that he took to the office of Governor General, when he was named to that position in 1996, was again the quiet approach to see how he could influence change and… I am happy to see that the tribute that was done in the local newspaper featured prominently the Governor General’s summer camp in agriculture.”

The Tourism Minister noted that that summer camp, developed six years prior to him leaving office in 2011, has been responsible for a number of young people becoming involved in agriculture.

“I have had to make the point here and other places that when you go to Agrofest you are sometimes blown away by how many young people are involved in agriculture and many of them are graduates of that summer camp programme… So not only traditional crop production, but aquaculture, the use of greenhouse technologies and all of these various things, and that I think has to do with the establishment of that summer programme,” he said.

Sealy told fellow MPs that Sir Clifford recognised that the average age of the “heavy lifters” in agriculture was advancing and there was a need to get the youth interested in the sector to help sustain it.

“Certainly when one looks to a way he could be remembered, I think nothing would be more fitting and I don’t think his spirit would be more appreciative, of some programme that recognises again the importance and development of agriculture in Barbados,” Minister Sealy added. (JRT)

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