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Agricultural sector achieves growth
T&T has experienced five consecutive quarters of growth in the agricultural sector, Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj told the Senate yesterday. He said this growth, experienced for the first time in 40 years, was the result of initiatives introduced by the People’s Partnership, including the National Food Production Production Action Plan 2012-2015.
Maharaj, who cited data from the Central Bank, said economic indicators showed that growth for the first three quarters of 2013 remained positive and steady, with growth of two per cent for the second quarter of 2013 and 1.9 per cent for the third quarter of 2013. He told the Senate: “Mr President with respect to inflation, data obtained from the Central Bank of T&T for food price inflation and headline inflation also indicates a reduction in the food price inflation rate from the first quarter of 2012 to October 2013.
“The year-on-year percentage change in the food price inflation rate moved from 24.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 to 3.7 per cent in October 2012. There was also a reduction in the headline inflation rate moving from 11 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 to 3 per cent in October 2013.” Maharaj attributed these developments to the following:
• Expansion of the commercial large farm initiative through the regional arrangement with Guyana and local implementation efforts
• Launch of the Caroni Green Initiative
• Review and implementation of a more structured approach on the Agricultural Incentive Programme with special incentives for larger farms
• Re-launch of a strengthened Praedial Larceny Unit
• Continued efforts to distribute leases to farmers.