Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries Hayden Spencer says farmers and fishermen affected by last weekend’s flooding should follow the required process if they want to be compensated for their loss.
Speaking at the post-Executive Council media briefing at the Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex, Scarborough, earlier this week, Spencer said some farmers and fishermen are still not aware of the compensation process. He said he discovered this when he toured affected areas over the weekend.
Spencer noted that the Fisheries Department has a compensation programme for registered fishermen and boat owners and only those persons will be compensated for their loss. Affected persons should fill out the required form at the Department of Marine Resource and Fisheries, he said.
“Investigations to the claim will be conducted by officials from the Department of Marine Resources in collaboration with the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) ... and the compensation for loss is calculated by TEMA and payment disbursed sometime after,” Spencer said.
He said persons suffering the loss of crops and livestock are required to make a report to the Food Crop Department at Montessori Drive, Glen Road, Scarborough.
“Extension officers will visit the farm and assess the damages... and they will conduct a preliminary assessment of the affected areas ...to determine the acreage destroyed, the type of crop and number of plants ...the possibility of recovery and the vulnerability of the planted area.”
He said if livestock was lost the extension officers will also determine the kind of livestock and their stage of development before determining farmers’ compensation packages.
Asked about the time period for the compensation process, Spencer said in 2014 some farmers were compensated within four months.