50 years ago: Agriculture on the Brac

In the Oct. 27, 1965 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a predecessor of the Cayman Compass, Cayman Brac correspondent Lilian Ritch reported on the visit of United Nations agricultural adviser Enrique Labarthe and his assistant Mr. Bernard. The men spoke to what was described as an appreciative audience on Oct. 20 at the Spot Bay schoolhouse: 

“The report was full of encouragement. The dairy and chicken farms, citrus grove and the ground plots were the best he had seen in the islands. Showing the value of bringing agriculture up to the economic level of other investments, he told us that by soil conservation, improved seeds, fertilisation and technique, it is fully possible to bring Cayman Brac back to where she cannot only feed herself but have enough to export. 

“He advocates that we could export beef, cattle and avocados. We are blessed with good pastures and no cattle diseases. A few interesting pointers were the use of the black wasp to keep citrus clean of insect pest, the introduction of Kudzu legume for cattle feed, improvement in dairy produce by butchering for meat when animals are at 14 months and thus thinning the herd and making the feed serve adequately; conserve grass by making hay and silo. For chicken rearing, it is not necessary to let them feed through the night at the cost of electricity. An illustrated explanation showed us how to plant bananas.”