Raise the issue of transforming agriculture in Region Ten into a viable and profitable pursuit and you are likely to trigger a surfeit of differing opinions from the relative handful of Linden’s farmers on just why a community that sits either on or relatively close to huge expanses of arable land has been unable to realise anything even close to self-sufficiency in farm products more than a quarter of a century after the decline of bauxite removed from it the sobriquet of ‘the mining town’.
The views on Linden’s failure, up until now, to deliver a thriving agricultural sector vary though the unchanging reality is that each week, vehicles roll into Linden from other agricultural communities offering produce at competitive prices whilst many of the farmers in the township fret over their own inability to be competitive.
The Stabroek Business’ visit to Linden a few weeks ago was undertaken specifically for the purpose of trying to secure an enhanced understanding of just why farming has not, over so many years, made at least a meaningful long-term contribution to providing greater numbers of income-generating options to bauxite mining. We found, frankly, that there are farmers at Linden, perhaps not in numbers that match other Administrative Regions of the country, but who appear every inch as committed as their counterparts in the more bountiful parts of the country. Still, it refuses to ‘come together’ for them…..