Minister Rambharat to ‘would-be’ farmers: Focus first on mitigating agricultural risks than on actual land acquisition

Minister Rambharat to ‘would-be’ farmers: Focus first on mitigating agricultural risks than on actual land acquisition

November, 18, 2020: In his presentation titled, ‘Re-Shaping the Agricultural Landscape in Trinidad and Tobago’, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, reminded the audience that farming was an investment “just as any other” and as such, careful consideration needed to be made prior to venturing into it. To this end, he advised agricultural enthusiasts to hold on the notion of acquiring land and “plant something” first; so that they are able to experience the many challenges that comes with farming. The challenge of farming is not easily overcome “simply by getting a piece of land” but in understanding and mitigating those foreseeable and unforeseeable risks through one’s actual, agricultural experiences he said.

The Minister’s remarks came as he addressed a ‘Let’s Talk Agriculture’ webinar of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Trinidad and Tobago earlier in the day, under the theme, ‘Boosting T&T’s economy through Agriculture’. The programme was hosted by Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) in collaboration with the Agricultural Development Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

Minister Rambharat further elaborated that farming is an investment, and he reiterated: “I want to tell people who have an interest in agriculture, to plant something and when you do, you will start to see the challenges that farmers face. You will see the black spots on your fruit, the ways in which the sun, rain, pests and animals affects your produce and it is then you will realise that, it is not just simply about getting a piece of land but in getting the experience, the know-how and understanding – as with any other investment – the ups and downs, the cycles you will face and how you mitigate those risks.”

The Minister also said that the Agriculture Ministry was also focussing on bringing about some stability in the agricultural sector in areas such as, land tenure, good governance as well as, the overarching support of both Government and State agencies in the stimulation of stakeholder growth.

He added, there is need for greater emphasis to be placed on value-added as opposed to primary production, as the agriculture sector seeks once again, to be a formidable player in the export market. Minister Rambharat also highlighted the success of the Farmers’ Market across the country and indicated that another critical area of support  in going forward for farmers is the business of marketing their products, as it relates to brand packaging, social media and other forms of advertising.

Other notable panellists who made presentations at today’s forum were: the Chief Executive Officer of the ADB, Mr Sheivan Ramnath; Founders of D’Market Movers Limited, Mr. David Thomas and Ms Rachel Renie; as well as the Founder of WhyFARM, Mr. Alpha Sennon.

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Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries at his Ministry’s Head Office in Chaguanas.

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