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T&T diplomat focuses on food security
Dr Neil Parsan, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) recently told the 42nd Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly in Cochabamba, Bolivia, that creating a food-secure nation is one of the priorities of the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
Parsan also highlighted the multifaceted nature of food security, including its relation to economic and social issues in the societies of the Americas, such as poverty, non-communicable chronic diseases, income inequality and sustainable development.
He said the Ministry of Food Production has developed a National Food Production Plan 2012-2015 as a strategy for achieving food security. It came out of consultations with other ministries, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and civil society.
In stressing the importance of food security for T&T, Parsan said that T&T’s annual food-import bill was $4 billion due to the high dependence on food imports, including the staples and key grains needed for the dairy and poultry industries. He said efforts were being made to boost the agricultural sector, with programmes to facilitate incorporation of increased technology and mechanisation and to address land-use management, marine fisheries, aquaculture, waste management, security, pest management and the needs of young people and female farmers.
Parsan said beyond the availability of food, it is important for citizens to have access to nutritious food, since there is a correlation between non-communicable diseases and diet. He expressed optimism that countries in the Americas will work towards implementing policies that rejuvenate agriculture and farming industries and facilitate healthy lifestyles.
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