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Showing posts from August, 2011

ENSURING T&T’S FOOD SECURITY

There was a recent story in the Jamaica Observer about food security in Jamaica that got me thinking. Like Trinidad, Jamaica is a net importer of food. Two officials at Jamaica’s College of Agriculture, Science and Education (Case) argued that crucial political decisions must be made in order to secure Jamaica's ability to feed the population, particularly in the face of a natural disaster such as a hurricane. The officials advocated an urgent need for efficient national food storage systems. Yes we do live in interesting times. Despite the fact that we still believe that God is a Trini, should any natural (or even man-made) disaster occur, how would we manage? I am unsure of the exact facts, but someone working in the supermarket business once told me, that not only do we depend on food imports to feed ourselves but that at any given time we have about two months of food on shelves and in warehouses. Clearly, if there is any sustained disruption to food imports, it could be prob…

Time to Wake Up

I rarely watch television these days as I spend more and more time on the internet.  Both online and offline however, for the better part of the past month, the economy has been the subject of much discussion.  Only the most naïve amongst us, and apparently some of those in the Labour Movement, continue to believe that we are immune to what is happening in Europe and the United States.
An article in the August 13th edition of the Economist describes the world’s economy as being in a sorry state and “flat on its back, feeble and growing weaker”.  It goes on to say that in the past week the “signs of alarm at its condition have multiplied…In Europe, yields on Italian and Spanish ten-year bonds rose above 6%. America fretted at seeing its credit downgraded by one of the big ratings agencies. Around the world, stockmarkets tumbled, with some recording their biggest one-day falls since 2008.”
On Facebook, I am a fan of Talk City 91.1 FM.  Kudos to whoever manages their Facebook page as I …

Getting to Know Ourselves

A couple weeks ago, my column touched on ‘Fire in Babylon’, a new documentary on West Indies Cricket.  In it, I erroneously forgot to mention Clive Lloyd.  As Wesley Francis mentioned in his feedback to me – “Without the vision and astute leadership and counseling of Clive Lloyd, the whole evolutionary process and the revolution of West Indies cricket would not have been, as he continued to modify the preparation and groundwork that was laid out before by Learie Constantine, George Headley, Sir Frank Worrell, just to name a few. “
Wesley Francis went on to suggest that Fire in Babylon should form part of the socio-historical curriculum of schools across our region.  On this point, I could not agree with him more.  Few would disagree that West Indies Cricket has done more to establish a West Indian identity than Federation or Caricom.  Sport has accomplished what politics still struggles to do.
Another entity that has played an important role in forming that regional identity is the U…

Getting to Know Ourselves

A couple weeks ago, my column touched on ‘Fire in Babylon’, a new documentary on West Indies Cricket.  In it, I erroneously forgot to mention Clive Lloyd.  As Wesley Francis mentioned in his feedback to me – “Without the vision and astute leadership and counseling of Clive Lloyd, the whole evolutionary process and the revolution of West Indies cricket would not have been, as he continued to modify the preparation and groundwork that was laid out before by Learie Constantine, George Headley, Sir Frank Worrell, just to name a few. “
Wesley Francis went on to suggest that Fire in Babylon should form part of the socio-historical curriculum of schools across our region.  On this point, I could not agree with him more.  Few would disagree that West Indies Cricket has done more to establish a West Indian identity than Federation or Caricom.  Sport has accomplished what politics still struggles to do.
Another entity that has played an important role in forming that regional identity is the U…

Rethinking Our Travel Trade

Now that I know that my next contract will take me back to London in a matter of days, I find myself again comparing the UK market to the Caribbean.  The biggest UK travel industry news story in July 2011 was arguably the profit warning from the travel industry giant, Thomas Cook Group plc.  This week, the CEO resigned.  
There are two things for us to consider.  Firstly, given that Thomas Cook is probably the biggest seller of Caribbean holidays (including the Spanish Caribbean) in the UK, our regional economies should brace themselves for weaker numbers as we head towards the end of the 2011 travel season.  Secondly, many commentators are speaking about a more fundamental shift in the way in which holidays are being sold in the UK and the United States.  It is this second point which is worthy of greater discussion.
Analysts at Investment Bank, Morgan Stanley, commented on the implications of the Thomas Cook profit warning.  They are quoted as saying that traditional package holida…