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Root crop farmers clamouring for leases
Farmers in Chaguanas braved Thursday afternoon’s heavy downpour and staged a placard demonstration demanding that the Ministry of Agriculture step in and sort out problems with their leases and develop infrastructure on lands allocated to them at Edinburgh.
Ramdeo Boondoo, chairman of The Root And Tuber Producers Association of T&T and chairman of the Edinburgh Agri Business Association, said 500 acres of lands were allocated to farmers in May 2012 when the ministry was run by Vasant Bharath. He said farmers have signed lease documents but are yet to receive leases.
Boondoo said this makes it impossible for them to receive financing. Boondoo said without leases or infrastructure farmers cannot produce food and are becoming frustrated. He said the lands were the site of a former housing estate that Bharat reverted into agriculture. Boondoo said he is disgusted that the Government has plans of turning to Guyana to get food for T&T when this country has all the resources to boost local food production.
Terrence Haywood, president of the National Food Crop Farmers Association said thousands of acres of land at Wallerfield, Orange Field and Caroni are going to waste as the Government goes to Guyana to seek food. “Agriculture in T&T must come first,” he said.