An appeal has been made for the Government to cull the monkey population in Barbados.
This was made by chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul, who charged that monkeying around with agriculture comes at the cost of the island’s food security.
While speaking to local media at the sidelines of the Agrofest Food Vendor’s Workshop on Wednesday, Paul called for Government to get rid of the pests who were responsible for crop theft.
“We need to get to the point that we do a serious culling of these animals in Barbados, because they are getting to the point where they are a true menace to increasing agricultural production,” the BAS CEO argued.
He added : “If we are serious about making sure Bajans have livelihoods and that they can produce food, we need to reduce the population of monkeys to a considerable degree because they are pests. They are constraints on agricultural products in many ways”.
He contended that “apologists” or animal activists were doing a disservice to the agricultural economy, as the monkeys were the cause of many farmers’ woes.
“I think those people who are promoting the monkeys as to say that we should not interfere with them are doing a disservice to our country, not recognising the fact that one of the main constraints to increasing agricultural production is the presence of monkeys. And they are even now attacking herbs! This is really unfortunate.”
“We talk about we are serious about food security, how can we in one breath say we are serious about food security and in the same breath encourage a pest that is undermining our food security and then you get apologists trying to make a case for them.”
“There are instances where people plant crops in their gardens and these things come across and pull them up, that is not something we should tolerate,” Paul maintained.