Agriculture Minister Conducts Assessment of Local Rice Industry Revitalization Efforts
January 23rd, 2024:- Yesterday (Monday 22nd January, 2024), the Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein toured several sites under the Trinidad and Tobago’s local rice industry revitalization project.
Minister Hosein asserted, “The achievements in this revitalization project are a testament to the power of collaboration and strategic planning. The unwavering commitment demonstrated by our regional partners, stakeholders, and the government sets a new standard for operational excellence. This initiative showcases our dedication to elevating local production and securing our nation’s food sovereignty.”
Mr. Nigel Grimes, Technical Advisor to the Ministry, explained that the project is guided by two principles: innovation and efficiency. He emphasized, “From careful seed procurement to the implementation of cutting-edge farming techniques, every aspect of this project reflects our unwavering commitment to raising local production standards.”
As the project progresses, local farmers, including Mr. Jamil Akaloo, a seasoned rice farmer, expressed that the initiative is a welcomed boost to the sector. “The contracts from National Flour Mills, the refurbishment and repairs of the Rice Harvester, and the ongoing training sessions are transformative for us. It’s a significant step towards food security, and we take immense pride in being part of it.”
Mr. Amir Hosein, another dedicated farmer participating in the project, shared his perspective, stating, “The outlook for increased production has brought a renewed sense of optimism to our community. This project is not just about rice; it’s about building a sustainable future for Trinidad and Tobago.”
In 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) achieved a pivotal milestone by distributing approximately 200,000 lbs of high-yielding, disease-resistant rice seeds to thirty (30) farmers. The seeds were purchased from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and forms a part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago in July 2022.
Minister Kazim Hosein praised the initiative as a testament to CARICOM member states’ commitment to reducing the food import bill by 25% by 2025, “Our counterparts in Guyana, under the leadership of the Honourable Zulfikar Mustapha, are continuing to work with us. This initiative would not have come about had it not been for the commitment of our Honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, and his discussions with the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali.”
The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries remain committed to the continued progress of the sector and in so doing ensuring food and nutrition security for all citizens.
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