Farmers’ Representative and Deputy President of the Senate Keith Clouden, has expressed concerns about what he sees as the escalation of lawless and “pedestrian” behavior in various communities including in the agricultural sector.
He was referring to what appears to be a developing controversy in the La Sagesse area where Senator Clouden farms. He was speaking regarding what he sees as the unlawful encroachment of a new farmer on lands designated for a different purpose.
According to Sen. Clouden, five acres of lands had been designated to each of six members of the Model Farmers Association at La Sagesse St. David, with two communal spots allocated for their storage, greenhouse and pump house facilities.
However, he said that there is a developing issue between him and one of the other model farmers over what he described as unacceptable behavior of that farmer toward to the structure of the model farmers initiative.
He pointed out to this paper that Mr. Joy Peters gave his assistant farmer Ms. Lydia Bonaparte, the go ahead to work lands which is outside of the lands designated for the model farmers, and has also been using NAWASA’s water illegally for over ten years.
Mr. Clouden added the Ms. Bonaparte placed a pump in front of his existing pump unbeknownst to him, which he described blatant disrespect and unacceptable and insists that proper procedures should be adhered to by anyone wishing to do farming in the area. He noted that Ms. Bonaparte should have the common decency and respect not to speak to Mr. Peters alone but to him as well because Mr.Peters is not the only model farmer on the land.
He went on to say that he is the leader of the model farmers in La Sagesse by virtue of the Model Farmers’ Corporation. He has assisted the model farmers with securing a number of pieces of agricultural equipment, mobilized in getting the road resurfaced, planting materials for the farmers among others things. He said he is not only the Farmers’ Representative in the Senate alone but represents the Model Farmers Corporation at La Sagesse and throughout the south of the island.
Ms. Bonaparte, the farmer at the centre of the issue expressed that Mr. Clouden who is the Farmers’ Representative in the Senate should be looking out for the interest of other farmers instead of creating any issues with them. She said that she had set up a small pump where she makes her garden; but Mr. Clouden is always having issues with her for the pump and that she is tired and fed up with him. She is therefore appealing to Mr. Clouden to allow her an opportunity to work in the area to sustain a livelihood.
Mr. Joy Peters who indicated that he does not see Ms. Bonaparte causing any threat to Mr.Clouden’s land or his water supply. He said that Senator Clouden has his pump and Ms. Bonaparte has a very small pump underneath his so there shouldn’t be any problem arising among them.
Senator Clouden for his part insists that things should be done properly and with some kind of order. He resents the idea that people should feel that they can just do whatever suits them regardless to how it affects others.