Challenges …in agriculture

Poor CGX. They’re always the bridesmaid at our oil weddings – even though they’d taken the lead in drilling offshore way back in 2000 when they were chased off by Surinamese Coast Guard. That’s right…we’re all chummy and lovey-dovey with Suriname of late, but let’s not forget they also have a border claim on our fair land.
In fact, they actually invaded our New River Triangle in 1969 and had to be expelled by our own fighting men! Yes, Sumintra, our army did see action right after their formation on both the eastern and western fronts. Of course, we weren’t so successful against the Venezuelans who still occupy our half of Ankoko Island. They still have our blades of grass and a few cuirasses!
Anyhow, after the CGX fiasco, we took on the Surinamese and won at the World Court – in that case, with the involvement of one of Burnham’s hired guns – Sonny Ramphal. Since Suriname had been producing oil since 1982, we had a glimmer of hope in 2000 that oil might be in our future. And it was then – to give the old codger (and dodger!) Ramphal credit that we were first warned about “Dutch Disease”. That by neglecting other sectors of the economy when the oil dollars started flowing, the economy could tank like the Titanic when the oil ran out. Which always will be a finite resource.
It’s rather ironic that poor CGX hasn’t yet drilled an oil-filled hole near Suriname since 2000 and has been courting bankruptcy ever since – while Exxon has been drowning in oil in the west. Fate does have a warped sense of humour!! Anyhow, Ramphal’s warning had been picked up after 2015 when Exxon hit the jackpot, but, of course – as is par for the course with the PNC – nothing was done to get us inoculated against the dreaded disease. They were busy hiding bonuses and other “incentives” received for signing away our oil?
But the PPP has hit the ground running on diversifying our economy – using the oil funds to lubricate the stuck wheels. But while industrialisation using natural gas, etc, is a few years out, agriculture is here and now – for the simple reason that it’s been keeping us going from the beginning. Unfortunately, our two major crops are heading in opposite directions. Sugar’s facing a very bleak future, but rice is looking very strong in a world facing a food crisis as population outstrips food production in a new Malthusian trap!
So, isn’t it short-sighted for the Government to have the millers jerk around the paddy farmers – who might just abandon agri??
Your Eyewitness reiterates his call for price support by the Government from oil funds.

…and opportunities
There’s the old saw about silver linings behind dark clouds. So the news that our last million-barrel lift garnered US$96 million is our silver lining behind the dark European war clouds. We can count on Putin keeping this war going for a good while since, with him, it’s a Mano-a-Mano thing. A guy who wrestles with bears ain’t backing down – it’s as simple – and brutal – as that!!
In the meantime, oil’s gonna be playing hide and seek with that Brent US$100/barrel benchmark – and we come out smelling roses. Now, some of you Dear Readers might be muttering that your Eyewitness is ignoring all that human suffering up north. He certainly isn’t, but accepts the desideratum that “we must accept the things we cannot change.” Doesn’t anyone REALLY believe that Guyana’s vote will cause Putin to pull out the insertion of his big troops into Ukraine? Much less those protesters at the Russian Embassy?
Just enjoy the extra cash!

…for Norton
As you can probably tell by now, your Eyewitness has a soft spot for Norton, whose bark is worse than his bite. But he might just become a victim of dashed expectations – like Corbin – from those who just want him to “kick-ass”.