Extension Services and Training
- Farmers Registration Programme (FRP): At present there are approximately 8000 registered farmers in the South region. The requirements to register as a farmer are as follows:
- a valid form of identification (electoral ID card, passport, naturalization certificate, or driver’s permit)
- proof of land ownership or authorization 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
Cards are processed within a three (3) month period after verification field visits are completed.
- To provide farmers with technical information through extension training programmes. Technology transfer training activities are conducted during the financial year at farmer’s holdings via meetings, farm visits, lectures, method demonstrations, farmer field schools, and plant clinics. These activities are customized to meet the needs of farmers to become knowledgeable on updated agricultural technologies that have commercial potential and are environmentally friendly within the farming communities. Examples of these activities include grow box production, pot and trough culture, hydroponics, aquaculture, good agricultural practices (GAP), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Value Added technologies, pesticide safety, post-harvest technology, tree crop farming, value added production in apiculture, small ruminant production and small engine repairs. Highly trained Extension Officers conduct all training and follow up farm visits are completed after the programmes are completed.
The RAS also facilitates training courses for the general public conducted by ETIS at all our county offices. We also offer open pollinated seeds and tree crop nurseries for sale to the public. These are supplied by ASD.
- Assist farmers suffering losses due to flooding and natural disasters: All registered farmers of the Ministry have access to disaster compensation for losses incurred due to flooding and natural disasters including wind damage and land slips. Field verification is conducted before claims are processed for payments. Cash compensations are allotted to affected farmers to assist in replanting efforts. Compensation models for livestock losses are currently being developed to address losses in the livestock industry. There are staff members of the RAS who are members of the Disaster Risk Management Committee (DRM) of the MALF, who have been trained in Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) conducted by the Red Cross of Trinidad and Tobago.
- To monitor the population of Moruga & Cedros locust: Locust management teams are found at all offices and are tasked with the surveillance, spraying and management of locust infestations throughout the Region. Public awareness programmes are conducted which would assist in surveillance and sighting of swarms.
- Invasive species management: At present there is the Giant African Snail (GAS) which affects all crops and the Huanglongbing (HLB/citrus greening disease) which affects citrus. The Extension Services staff of the Regional Office ensures that surveillance activities and management strategies are implemented with respect to these pests. Public awareness programmes are executed to alert the population on the effects of these alien species.
- Farmers’ issues: The RAS Extension staff conducts field visits to investigate farmers’ issues such as request for access roads, ponds or crossings, pest and disease matters, request for fire arms field visit reports and other agriculture related matters.
- To allow 4-H ers/young Farmers to undertake agricultural and other projects in a business-like manner. The 4-H programme is implemented in conjunction with the Ministry of Education in both primary and secondary schools as the (4-Hs) represents the heart, hands, head and health of the child. The programme introduces children to all aspects of agricultural production in the form of training programmes, camps and competitions among the participating schools.