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Nutmeg and cocoa merger talks

Agriculture Minister Peter David – mandated by Cabinet to bring about the merger

There appears to be no headway in efforts being made by the Keith Mitchell-led ruling New National Party (NNP) government to merge the Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) and the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA) and the liberalisation of the industry.

Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY that the team appointed by government several months ago to work on the issue is yet to convene a meeting and nothing so far has happened.

One official said that Agriculture Minister Peter David attempted to have a meeting about 2 weeks ago with members but it had to be postponed since it co-incided with the date of the State funeral of former Governor-General, Sir Carlyle Glean.

He stated that the minister tried to schedule the meeting for the following day but the representatives of the commodity boards were unavailable due to prior engagements.

According to the official, Minister David was told to look for another appropriate day and has not come back yet to the team members.

“I am not sure when he’s going to call it again,” he said.

The official expressed surprise that the minister is still focused on the contentious issue of Merger of the two commodity boards and liberalisation issue with general elections seemingly just around the corner.

“…I thought that he would be more concerned with trying to get back into office,” he told THE NEW TODAY.

The Merger Committee is headed by Acting Chief Magistrate, Teddy St Louis and is composed of two representatives each from GCNA and GCA and two other nominees from government.

Prime Minister Mitchell has indicated that his NNP regime is committed to the merger of the two commodity bodies as well as the liberalisation of the industry to provide greater opportunities for export sale of the two crops.

Farmers are insisting that the assets of GCNA and GCA must first be settled before any Merger talks can be held in charting the course forward for the industry.

In an effort to force the farmers around the negotiating table, government has held back on a promise made in 2021 to provide a loan to the commodity board to help them run the business.

A commodity board member told THE NEW TODAY that the Mitchell government has now inserted a new condition that the money will only be given provided there is merger of GCNA and GCA.

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