MP ST. PHILIP WEST, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD, FISHERIES AND WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Moving easily and comfortably among his constituents Dr. David Estwick has been steady in realising his vision for the St. Philip West constituency.
In keeping with the party’s people-centred mandate this medical doctor has never wavered in his representation. He has been generous and discreet, providing help for those who need it most, without fanfare but always with fervor.
For the last decade he has consistently sought to provide employment opportunities to empower residents. He has moved the jobless to self-employment through mentorship, training and grants. He has also set up a private foundation to pool human and financial resources in his constituency to promote development through community outreach activities.
As both MP and Minister of Agriculture he has worked closely with the vendors at the Six Roads market, hosting a fair there on Heroes’ Day in 2012. Based on the success of that event the vendors have come together and formed the Six Roads Market Vendors Association (SMVA); with Dr. Estwick’s help they hosted the Banks/Mount Gay Six Roads Pre-Independence Festival from November 23 – 25 which was well received and was profitable for the vendors. They intend to make this an annual event.
Knowing the health, social and economic benefits of sports Dr. Estwick has sponsored several football clubs in his constituency including the Brereton Braves, Villa United and Fairview Ballers. He is again supporting several players in the David Thompson Memorial Football Tournament and continues to assist the under-13 cricket teams from all the St. Philip primary schools. He facilitates dominoes teams and other community groups and has created similar opportunities for those interested in music and entertainment.
At the parochial level he has lobbied and got natural gas piped into Charnocks; roads have been repaired at Charnocks No. 1 and No.2; Hopefield, Market Hill Road, Hamblin Road, Evelyn Road, Lowlands, Cox Hill and Six Roads to Windsor have been completed. Work is expected to start soon at Lowthers Hill, Packers and Sweet Street. Reflective signage and a speed hump have been installed at the dangerous junction at Greaves Hill, and there has also been improved lighting in several areas.
Dr. Estwick has worked closely with the Rural Development Commission (RDC) and St. Philip West Constituency Council to assist many seniors with home repairs, new home construction and several other community social services.
This alumnus of the Princess Margaret School has brought passion to all the ministerial portfolios he has managed – Health; Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Industry and Small Business Development. That has not changed with him being Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management. He maintains that diversifying the local economy from an over-dependence on tourism, international business and financial services is essential to building a stable economy.
The Minister understands the importance of a green economy which can reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, create a new sector, new jobs and save foreign exchange. Minister Estwick is the Chair of the Negotiating Committee with responsibility for the Natural Gas Pipe Line Project to bring much needed natural gas from Trinidad and Barbados . This initiative is an important measure to lower the electricity and fuel cost in Barbados.
The sugar industry has received keen attention from the Minister who intends to restructure it towards bi-products like electricity and fuel through alcohol. The object is to reduce the cost of energy from 90 cents a KWH to 13 cents a KWH, proving beneficial to both businesses and households. Other bi-products include specialty sugar and molasses. He has also started a Fuel Ethanol Project with West Indies Rum Distillaries Ltd to produce alcohol for the automotive sector establishing another strong linkage between agriculture and the transportation and energy sectors.
He intends to make the agricultural sector profitable for farmers, generate foreign exchange and strengthen food security by moving agricultural production from primarily root crops and livestock to energy production and agro-business development.
He believes the Cassava Feed Project is critical to breaking the cycle of animal food inflation due to drought and increasing international prices. These measures will significantly reduce the country’s annual BB$981 million food import bill.
After deep analysis and much contemplation he has engaged the cabinet on the issues currently facing the industry which include insufficient capital, inadequate research, the lack of modern techniques to make production and distribution more efficient, the absence of linkages between agriculture and key sectors notably tourism, energy and manufacturing and little or no collaboration with neighbouring Caribbean countries, particularly under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to drive the regional export of Barbadian products.
Under his stewardship a new headquarters for the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is being built in the Pine, St. Michael, and the St. Philip Water Augmentation Project has started. The Newcastle Water project has been completed, and the New Molasses Tank Storage project has started.
As part of his vision, a reverse osmosis plant will soon come on stream to ensure that Barbados’ potable water supply is in keeping with the standards of the World Health Organization. A National Tractor Cultivation Project has been launched and a National Farmer Incentive Program has been initiated. Dr. David Estwick is committed to further innovation of this vital sector and appreciates your ongoing support.
Contact the Candidate
Constituency Office (246) 416-9152