October 4, 2017: Coming on the heels of the presentation of the 2017/2018 Budget Statement, Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries outlined his expectation of the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO) in the context of their budget allocation coupled with a renewed vision and focus, saying that NAMDEVCO will ‘continue to operate its wholesale markets, to expand the farmers markets and play the role between farm and table, [that is] going back to ensuring that farmers now meet the global GAP standards; NAMDEVCO plays a very critical role in food safety in the country; and [they also] play an important role in matching farmers with agro-processors’. He said that it is important that ‘NAMDEVCO as an organization is purposed to fulfill the needs of the farming community, ago-processors and consumers in the country’.
The Minister made these statements as he delivered the Feature Address and declared ‘open for business’ the Orange Valley Wholesale Fish Market, managed by NAMDEVCO at a Recommissioning Ceremony on Tuesday 3rd October, 2017.
The Agriculture Minister came in for high praises from Mrs. Ramona Ramdial, Member of Parliament for Couva North who encouraged the Minister to ‘continue to do work like this throughout Trinidad and Tobago’. She noted that ‘this is a welcome project’.
Addressing the audience also were Senator Avinash Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries who said ‘we visited to see what was actually needed by our stakeholders and delivered this Project under budget’; Mr. Wayne Innis, Deputy Chairman of NAMDEVCO who said these facilities represent ‘a final design that included several requests from various stakeholders’, calling on the stakeholders ‘to make every effort to maintain these facilities’; and Mrs. Nirmala Persad, CEO (Ag.), NAMDEVCO.
It was noted that ‘the upgrades to this facility alleviated some of the major problems affecting the users for a very long time’. The completed upgrades include the complete refurbishment of the public washrooms; refurbishment of the auction hall with the installation of a high grade epoxy coating which meets international standards for fish markets; refurbishment of the administrative building and staff washrooms; refurbishment of the net sheds; an extension of the commercial vending area; construction of a boat repair shed at the jetty with installation of potable water and an electricity supply; construction of new and larger entry bays; refurbishment of the locker rooms; resurfacing of the western car park area; repainting of the entire facility; and 24-hr CCTV surveillance cameras.
Among the audience was Mrs. Angela Siew, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.