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Add medical care cost to food import bill

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The very first publication of the Express came out on Tuesday, June 6, 1967. The lead story of that first edition looked at attempts to turn Wallerfield into a food basket that could ease Trinidad’s then $80 million annual food import bill. 



Big mistake! Wallerfield’s soil is unsuitable for farming crops. As usual, the advice of the technocrats in the Ministry of Agriculture and the professionals at UWI would not be taken. Instead, as has increasingly become the wont, advice from whoever was the Minister of Agriculture’s “tantie” or “pardner” at the time would become the order of the day. 



Even then, exactly 47 years ago, there was concern about the food import bill, $80 million. The latest figure for 2013 is $4.7 billion (up from $4 billion in 2012), surely a massive increase, even given inflation. On the plus side, the nation’s food import bill has recorded a two per cent reduction from 2010 to 2013. We should be grateful for small mercies.