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Lamentation of a farmer
It is with a feeling of helplessness and frustration that I am writing this letter of complaint about the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs, police department, the Estate Management and Business Development Co Ltd.
My name is Hickling Teixeira, I am a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, I am a farmer who is currently cultivating approximately 6 acres of land at Ramlal Gosyne Trace, Mundo Nuevo in the ward of Talparo.
I had a vision to contribute to my country. Since 2005 I have invested over one million dollars which constitutes my life’s savings, to develop and farm the aforementioned parcel of land. Over $160,000 out of pocket have been spent on the development of a State access road (Ramlal Gosyne Trace).
Several letters of assistance were written to State agencies such as the Couva Talparo Regional Corporation, the Ministry of works and the EMBD for assistance with the completion of the access road. The responses were measured to none, with very little help forthcoming. There was no adequate access road to the estate thus I purchased a 40ft long container to store agricultural equipment and farming implements.
During this period of time I suffered several loses by way of continuous praedial larceny and four separate break-ins of the 40ft container where agricultural equipment valued over $75,000 was stolen. Reports were made to the police but to date no one has been arrested nor a piece of equipment recovered. Letters were written to the Commissioner of Police and copied to the Police Complaints Authority, the Prime Minister, Minister of Food Production, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Food Production, the Minister of National Security, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Security, the Police Complaints Authority.
To date only the office of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of National Security has responded, also the police complaint department acknowledging receipt of the complaint. These setbacks left me no recourse but to approach and secure a loan of $386,000 from the Agricultural Development Bank. The EMBD had indeed started work on the access road around October 2010, after much insistence by myself and other farmers who would benefit from the access road.
This work has stopped abruptly with no positive feedback from the EMBD that the access road would continue. I would literally be destroyed if this access road is not completed since I would not be able to bring out my produce nor will I be able to service my loan with the ADB. I am seeking assistance from these state agencies and calling on them to make some meaningful interventions on my behalf.
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