Regional Administration North
The Regional Administration of the Ministry of Food Production is divided into two main Divisions: Regional Administration North and Regional Administration South. The northern region is made up of:
- St. George County
- St. David County
- St. Andrew County
- County Caroni
To provide decentralised services of core divisions of the ministry, to facilitate increased production, the adoption of improved technology and to encourage the involvement of youth, through the provision of extension and support services.
County Offices are conveniently located across the country in order to decentralise access to resources provided by the Ministry, and bring our services closer to you. Both Divisions share a common goal of providing a coordinated approach to the delivery of support services to all clientele, with a marked emphasis on youth in agriculture, while promoting and bolstering food production.
The Regional Administration Division provides many exciting opportunities for youths. The Youth Apprenticeship Programme in Agriculture, or YAPA, is a valuable tool for young people wishing to widen their knowledge in agriculture. Youths aged 17-25 can become involved in farming, and pursue agriculture as a business. The training takes place in two phases. Phase 1 can be described as an awareness stage, and consists of eight weeks of “hands-on” training and experience on farms. In Phase 2, deserving graduates of Phase 1 are selected. This phase includes nine months of classroom and practical field training at the county level.
Several attractive incentives are offered to trainees.
- youths are given a daily stipend,
- they are allowed to keep the proceeds from the crops that they grow and sell
- they learn valuable information about the agricultural sector
For the budding young farmers under the age of 17, there is the 4-H Programme. The Ministry conducts training in agricultural projects for youth and voluntary leaders in the various counties, and facilitates social awareness skills training.
The Regional Administration facilitates the registration of farmers and the provision of farmers’ identification cards. All farmers must be registered with the Ministry in order to access the attractive incentive packages. The requirements to register as a farmer are as follows:
- a valid form of identification (electoral ID card, passport, naturalisation certificate, or driver’s permit)
- proof of land ownership or authorisation to use the land
- proof of interest in farming the land
- must be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago
- must be over seventeen (17) years of age
- must be farming at least 1/8th of an acre of land
Food Production and Incentive Programmes
Apart from registration and youth involvement programmes, the Regional Administration is dedicated to encouraging and improving food production and food security in the Trinidad and Tobago, by helping farmers to safely, effectively, and efficiently produce their crops. This is one of the major reasons for its Agricultural Incentive Programme. Incentives are offered for land preparation, machinery and equipment, soil conservation, vehicles, specific tree crops, irrigation, pasture management for livestock, post-harvest and marketing, security, waste management, and more. The Incentive Programme has recently undergone a few major changes, and in addition to new incentives, the programme also tries to encourage conservation of the environment, and good agricultural practices. There are several requirements necessary to access incentives, which can be accessed at your nearest Count Office. Call your County Office to find out more!
Registered farmers in search of advice can receive counsel from the Regional Administration County Offices including:
- the management of plant pests and disease
- the production of various agricultural commodities (crops and livestock, including bees)
- using good agricultural practices
- water management
- record keeping
- library services
Farmers, in addition to home gardeners, can access training programmes on agriculture and agri-business management at the County Offices.
The Regional Administration North and South Divisions boast of a variety of services available to farmers and the grand public. Both the North and South Divisions play a part in the management and eradication of dangerous pests; specifically, Africanised bees. The Regional Administration South Division also charges itself with the management of the Cedros and Moruga locusts, which can cause substantial damage to crops.
Currently, the Regional Administration is working on a database of farmers and food producers. This database will help both divisions give better service and support to farmers.