Letter to Massive

Dear Mr. Massive Gosine,

Permit me to extend my sincere thanks for your recent kaiso, “Rowley Mother Count.” Carefully, I listened to its articulation. The word ‘count’ was pronounced faithfully, meticulously, cautiously, abiding strictly to the rules of English phonetics. I do not regard this as an accident. I regard it as your careful, wary efforts to not exceed the norms of simple courtesy. It cannot be otherwise, for, as we all know, a righteous woman is a joy and boon to the nation.

I am deeply mindful of a fundamental issue raised in the song: the issue of praedial larceny and its baneful effects on food production, on the national economy. While on the political hustings, I did promise to convert the Eastern seaboard of Trinidad into a flourishing agricultural farmland. Your song is surely an indictment to tackle the serious matter of praedial larceny; and its massive prohibitive impacts on food production. I therefore propose the following solutions:

PRIMARY SCHOOL REVOLUTION: We need not more thieves on our land. Instances of thievery and pure corruption are far too high. The culture of thievery and corruption has cut far too deep; it has almost become a national pastime, trait. Not good. I therefore intent to use the primary school, where our most cherished, delicate, resplendent future citizens amass, to create an altered breed of citizen. An ethical one. The revolution entails the first half of the day, morning periods, to be devoted to reading, writing, and the other ‘academic’ arts. The second part of the day, the afternoon, shall be devoted to avid training in technology, sports, languages and music, the performance arts, and horticulture. The hands-on part. This will engender a more innovative, creative, productive citizen; more willing to co-operate, build by the speed of their skills, aptitudes, rather than the slow coach of stealth.

THE HORTICULTURAL REVOLUTION: Horticulture is the organized husbandry of tree-crops to produce fruit, drinks and food. Our horticulture mission, envisaged by the post-World War One Colonial Government, its botanic garden, its Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, its employment of JO Cutteridge to introduce horticultural knowledge in schools, has been shoved aside; first by the oil and gas economy; and now, tragically, by the drugs economy. Vast swathes of the United States and European populations, discontented, impressionable, dig into their hard-earned incomes to buy drugs from their Southern neighbours; a vast network of drugs passing from South into North; from which we, Trinidadians and Tobagonians, get our cut. The horticultural revolution would subvert this trade: instead of channelling hard drugs, cocaine and other opiates to the United States and European consumers, we would channel Vitamin A, D, C, trace minerals, through the abundant trade of tropical fruit and their by-products, into metropolitan and hinterland economies.

LOCAL GOVENRNMENT REFORM: As you would know, my party ran on a campaign of Local Government Reform in the last Local Government elections. We intend to stick to this promise. We do have an experienced team of persons currently creating proposals for this eventuality. Constituency Government. Lifting the onerous, complex, and un-doable burdens from central government — colonial by history, precedent and nature — onto the shoulders of our local leadership. Each constituency would have its own variety, its flagship projects, of economic endeavour. Community farms, that is state land made available to families and farmers to plant, will be a staple part of this reform. Local leaders tackling local issues, like praedial larceny!

COCOA, COCONUTS, DIARY: Special emphasis would be placed on these three historical flagship indigenous industries. Health. Cocoa is now, accurately, being labelled and marketed globally as a health food. Coconut oil is, as we are hearing from international scientists, the best mitigation against such endemic diseases as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Brain food. To counter bad drugs sold globally by big Pharma. And dairy: mozzarella cheese from our Buffalypso. I will instantly re-open the Chatham Diary, which was closed down for smelter. A marketing institute, supported by food parks (like industrial estates) family farms, independent farmers, will be established to win trade globally, with populations literally dying for tropical health and drink and food products.

THE COUVA HEALTH FACILITY: Health food for healthy bodies. Couva, centrally located, already equipped with a handful of good hotels, sports facilities, will be made into a sporting technology mecca in Latin America. I intend to transfer the transferable equipment from this ‘showboat’ project to local facilities, and convert this facility to a health and sports institute; specializing in food and sports technology. A nice niche of cocoa and chocolate producers has emerged, each selling its own brands, many based in Gran Couva. But not all of them know the real capiche. Why must our sportsmen and women constantly have to rely on the United States for training? When we have flat port waters, breezy plains and undulating hills, so fit for local training. We need the coaching technology institutes right here. Crawfie trained on Caroni cane lands.

As they say ‘one by one coco fill the basket.’ Every little thing adds up. A cocoa, a coconut, a caimite, a shaddock, a pineapple, a dongs, a tamarind, rangutan, a balata, a soursop, a sapodilla, a cashew, a cachima, a star apple, a pommerac, pommecythere, a day, keep the doctor away. From Massive to ital food and drink. A massive fruit and energy program! Done the drugs, guns, energy, money cartels!

Wayne Kublalsingh

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