February 17, 2017: Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries met with Rice Farmers and Rice Industry Stakeholders at the Ministry’s offices in El Socorro on Tuesday 14th February, 2017 and assured them that ‘there has never been a time when this [Government] has not supported the rice sector; we have said that this is a sector that is important to this country’.
The major issues discussed during the two hour long meeting included land tenure; availability of seeds; water/irrigation for the sector; NFM matters and financial matters affecting the farmers; and the Plan developed by the farmers and key stakeholders.
Representing the interests of the industry were farmers of Navet, Plum Mitan, Felicity and Caroni. The Minister also encouraged the group to ‘come together’ as farmers so that they can have a more powerful voice in the industry and this can lend to improved collaboration on the representation of all rice farmers.
Also contributing to the meeting were Senator Avinash Singh, Parliamentary Secretary; Mr. Claudelle Mc Kellar, Deputy Permanent Secretary; Mr. Shivan Ramnath, CEO, ADB; Mr. Kelvin Mahabir, CEO, NFM; among others.