This week guest columnist VASANT BHARATH Minister, Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs continues the third of his six-part series in this space on food security. He tackles the question of how the Government means to back farmers to go local.
Agriculture is a business and my Government is committed to providing the enabling environment to encourage entrepreneurs in this sector. Traditionally, agriculture is not seen as an attractive career choice. We have been acculturated to think that work with the hands is menial. But agriculture is not only work with the hands. Traditional agriculture may in fact be so, but we have highly mechanised and technologically advanced systems that currently exist.
This week, guest columnist VASANT BHARATH, Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs continues the second of his six part series in this space on the vital question of food security.
We are rehabilitating over one hundred kilometres of agricultural access roads impacting on approximately two thousand eight hundred (2,800) hectares of agricultural land, while providing new access roads in foodcrop areas. We are currently engaged in the construction of ponds, sluice structures, desilting of drains, establishment of crossings, and acquisition of mobile pumps for irrigation. This along with the installation of drip irrigation systems to optimise the use of water.
This week guest columnist VASANT BHARATH Minister of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs continues his six part series in this space on what incentives the government is giving farmers towards the national goal of food security.
In October, we will commence a programme to bring on board fifty University agricultural graduates on an annual basis through our Young Professional in Agriculture Development and Mentoring Programme. The major objective of which is to provide structured, focused and closely monitored opportunities for these tertiary level graduates to be mentored in agriculture and related studies. Allowing them to be productive contributors to the development of the agricultural sector. We continue our “home gardening” initiative primarily through community based training. We are soon to launch an advertising campaign to encourage nationals to grow their immediate agriculture needs.
For the next six weeks in our environmental series “Cleaning Up The Mess” our columnist is VASANT BHARATH Minister of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs, who has been working tirelessly to create food security in this country.
Between 17 to 20 per cent of our people in Trinidad and Tobago, that is, over 200,000 people live below the poverty line, on less than twelve TT dollars a day. Numerous international studies have shown that those at greatest risk of being hungry or food insecure live in households that are headed by a single woman or those with incomes below the poverty line. For families in poverty, food is often the first thing cut out of budgets when faced with high rent, utility bills, and medical expenses. At some time during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources.