STICKING A PIN ON … A PRODUCTION AGENDA FOR GRENADA
Written by William Joseph on November 21, 2017
Many Grenadians worry about the state of the society especially in light of a continuing spate of extreme criminal conduct. The taking of human life shows a state of mind lacking compassion and an appetite for brutish judgment! One is not dealing here with instances of temporary anger or loss of self-control. What explains this societal crisis?
The answer is to be found in a companion ‘development crisis’ that is afflicting Grenada which cries out for correction. Otherwise, the frustrations of poverty and unemployment will cause hemorrhaging of pestilence proportions!
At this juncture, Grenada needs to work out a consensus on national development and agree to a Production Agenda; not a ‘Policy Agenda’ or a ‘Keep Moving Agenda’! Both these latter will feature in their rightful place but, for now, they are inadequate. The people need to be mobilized around an inspiring, sound and exciting ‘Production Agenda’. Plan must replace promise!
Development involves much more than economic growth, new cars, new buildings and new infrastructure. It calls for positive changes in the relations between and among people and the maintenance of good social hygiene, consistently. A spurt in material change that leaves the society behind produces certain disconnect which is worsened by a misaligned education system, generally; and absence of a tailor-made education program for the poor, specifically.
Problems in education, youth unemployment, poverty, etc. are traceable to lack of a development vision and irresponsible use of scare resources. Therefore, attention must shift to how the economy could be re-built to produce more wealth. Higher tax revenues, more debt relief, generous grants and CBI money do not constitute a better economy. More is needed!
It is true that Grenada has significant resource constraints, but the economy is not without opportunities. The political parties can help the economy if leaders are prepared to shift mindsets and reset the power button. On the other hand, citizens who are ‘well able’ should be willing to put forward their ideas to the public for consideration on the merits. Thanks to Soca Banton, “giving up not part ah d plan”!
Parties have made serious mistakes by using various methods to protect power. They also make huge mistakes by purporting to have the solutions while ignoring suggestions put by citizens not flashing a party card. These mistakes have been very costly to the people.
Valid production opportunities lay before us. Boosted production will bring reliable changes in fortunes. Here are a few ideas for enlarging production:  A Diaspora Investment for Production Program (DIPP)…special incentives regime supporting parish economies and Youth Producers;  A private sector Program for Investment, Production and Employment (PIPE)…special incentives regime for growth areas, new exports, etc.;  A Youth Producers’ Program (an initiative to replace IMANI)…creative industries, customized products, fashion designs and music, branded memorabilia products (range of higher value items for sale to tourists), new spice-based products for fitness and wellness market, specialty gourmet products. Plus a component dealing with skills training for export markets;  Parish economies… incentivize investment clubs, parish branding for tourism (including branded markets and attractions for unique experiences), and agro-processing (to scale) to boost production at the local level… ‘Brighten the corner where you are’, tagline. Introduce Parish Development Corporations;  Women economies… applying best-practice small business models and production systems.
Mobilize each of these around a production platform, radically different:
HRD and Education for production
Culture and heritage for production
Hospitality and Sport for production
ICT for production.
Many citizens have ideas for a new development conversation in Grenada. Share yours!