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Dream of food security moving further away

Published: 
Saturday, March 15, 2014

The media are always primed to open up the flood gates on the topic of death, so let’s discuss death—death of local food security. What is food security? Is T&T’s business/political coalition honestly working at the goal of becoming a food secure nation? The wishes of common citizens on this are irrelevant. They are conditioned to passively do whatever politico/corporate dictates to them.

 

So food security, you’ve heard the phrase used by politicians, the corporate human machine, talk show host and farmers, refers to the availability of food and one’s access to it. A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. Few persons in Trinidad live in fear of starvation. Food is so abundant that jobless street dwellers in the country are plump. 

 

But, is a nation that imports its food, food secure? Should a nation that decrees political reassurances about cutting its food import bill be believed when it undercuts its own fishermen and husbandry, crop and livestock farmers? To keep farmers poor the Trinidad government bulldozed yielding crops planted on State (public) lands. Does bulldozing locally-grown crops aid the cause of cutting the food import bill? Of course not. Where is T&T on its political goal of reducing the food import bill?

 

 

The bill was $3.4 billion in 2007, $3.65 billion in 2008, and an estimated $4.0 billion in 2009 and 2010. In August 2013 the State reported a two per cent drop in the bill. This was before 11 crude oil spills decimated juvenile fishing stock across T&T’s Gulf and Columbus Channel coast; before acres of fertile producing lands in Chaguaramas were cleared of crops. 

 

Does smothering local fish habitat, in particular marine nurseries, with pervasive crude production spills aid the cause of cutting the food import bill? Where is T&T’s food import bill with the growing loss of its marine food stock?

 

Sarah Parks,
via e-mail

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