Three (3) Farmers receive Agro-Incentive Cheques from Agriculture Minister
June 12, 2020: At an Agro-Incentive and Lease Letter Ceremony held on Friday 12th June, 2020, Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, presented Agro-Incentive cheques valued between $60,000- $100,000 to three(3) farmers. Also attending the ceremony which took place at corporate headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) in Chaguanas, was MALF’s Permanent Secretary (Ag.), Ms. Susan Shurland.
The Incentive Programme received more than 1,000 applications in the first few months following its launch in October 2018 and was intended to assist farmers who needed a particular intervention, eventually leading to increased production, sustainability, resilience to climate change as well as improvement in health and safety conditions.
Minister Rambharat, was optimistic that the agro-incentive will yield more successful applicants in the coming months and was particularly saddened by the nature of some of the applications which only highlighted the fact that persons were not clear as to the intent of the programme. He said: “One of the disappointments is that out of the 1,000 persons who applied, I found that most of them did not understand what the incentive was about. People wanted us to buy vehicles, seeds, seedlings and those things which a farmer was traditionally expected to buy from which there is already some level of support.” According to the Minister, the incentive was intended to be “focussed”, meaning, it is specifically targeted toward individuals who are innovative and motivated; therefore access to the incentive grant will assist them in becoming better farmers in the long term.
During the brief Ceremony, Minister Rambharat also distributed three (3) Lease Letters, conveying Cabinet’s approval to grant standard agricultural and residential leases to the aforementioned recipients, for an initial period of thirty (30) years. These letters, will empower farmers and other would-be tenants to engage public agencies and institutions relative to the conduct of business in respect to their respective parcels.