The Cooperative Credit Union Movement is calling on Government to fast track implementation of a national food security plan immediately after the COVID-19 spread is contained.
President of the Central Finance Facility (CFF) Letitia Telesford said the credit union movement has praised the Government and how it has handled the situation to date.
However, she noted that a food security plan could minimise the dependence on imported food during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
“We need to develop and implement a plan that will lead to the production of three months consumption of short-term crops within a six week period and monthly production thereafter, that could feed the country in the future,” Telesford recommended.
She added this will involve a cooperative effort of Government and organisations such as the Farmers’ Associations, the University of the West Indies, the University of T&T, the Agricultural Society of T&T, cooperatives based in the agricultural sector, credit unions and private individuals.
Urging for organisations to come together, Telesford said they must also maximise the acreage of land under cultivation to so that the country can feed it’s people sustainably.
In addition, more local food production can lead to a reduced need for foreign exchange, she noted.
“Individuals owning uncultivated land must be willing to make it available to government and share in the returns. Similarly employment programs like URP and CEPEP must be redeployed to land cultivation and food production. Telesford advised.