Bad roads hurting our business - farmers

December 04, 2017
Ian Allen/Photographer A section of the Minto to Penlyne Castle road in St Thomas.
Ian Allen/Photographer Euton Rhodney
Ian Allen/Photographer Christmas trees on a farm at Penlyne Castle, St Thomas.

Farmers of Penlyne Castle in St Thomas are pleading for their road to be fixed.

Christmas tree and coffee farmer Euton Rhodney says that the road is causing extensive damage to his vehicle as he tries to make a living.

"People a suffa pan dat (the road). You know how much time me chop me tire pan di road?" he said.

He argued that because of the road conditions, he has to buy tyres and front-end parts regularly, which eats into his profits.

One resident stated that frequent landslides worsen the problem

"The other day, a big rock-stone come down and chop out a man foot," the resident said.

Rudolph Watson, another farmer, said: "It is not a road. When you analyse it, is a track. It is like a river course."

Rhodney added, "If me have a good customer and him call and seh him want one tree down a town, me affi carry it to them."

Both men said that if they are not able to deliver their trees on time, they may lose customers.

Rhodney told THE STAR that the journey from Penlyne Castle costs him $4,000 for gas ,and he has to be careful in order not to damage his front-end.

He lamented that the cost of the tree is $6,000, which leaves him only $2,000 in profit.




He added that he normally tries to make deliveries on a specific day, however, he sometimes has to change his plans, depending on the needs of the customer.

"Sunday, I have some trees to drop off, so I always try to tell them (the customers) to wait till Sunday, but sometimes, they have an event going on, and they tell me that they need the tree now. In that case, I have to bring it to them."

Watson told THE STAR that the journey with the load makes things harder for them.

"When you travelling with the load, you have to drive very slow. So a two-hour journey will take three hours or four hours," he said.

They added that things are not much better when it rains. They said that they have to drive extremely slow to ensure that their delivery is made.

Smith said at times, they have to leave their vehicles at a certain point and walk to their homes because the vehicles are unable to make it to the top.

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