Twenty (20) Farmers to benefit from Agricultural Parcels in Petit Morne
Twenty (20) young farmers from South Trinidad have been allocated a forty (40)-acre block of State land in Petit Morne, St. Madeleine, which is to be developed into two (2)-acre parcels for the purposes of agriculture. So said Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, following the signing of a Framework Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) and the Rural Development Company Limited (RDC) at MALF’s Chaguanas Head Office earlier today (Wednesday 12th January, 2022).
The Agreement, which treats with the provision of procurement and project management services in respect to the development of the forty (40)-acre block, also provides for the relocation of eighteen (18) farmers, whose agricultural holdings along the Marabella Train Line (South of the Petrotrin Refinery), were affected as a result of the construction of the Waterfront Development in San Fernando. Also included in the current arrangement, are two (2) additional farmers from the San Fernando area, both of whom according to Minister Rambharat, were affected by precarious land tenure agreements, incidents of theft and adverse weather conditions, despite their significant strides and financial investments in agriculture.
The Minister also noted that while the agreement makes provisions for the development of the forty (40)-acre site for the purpose of relocation, it was one of three (3) blocks of State land in Petit Morne, comprising of over 290 acres, with the other two (2) blocks being earmarked by the Government for the development of the Homestead Programme and Greenhouse Project in the future, given the area’s topography, location and access to utilities and markets.
With respect to the Greenhouse Project the Honourable Minister said: “The idea is to develop Greenhouse facilities that will give young people, in particular, the opportunity to move away from traditional agriculture to that of protected farming. To this end, the Government has entered into a partnership with the Chinese Government to provide technical advice on greenhouses with the aim of having these deployed across the country. The intention is to involve the National Agricultural Marketing Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO) in the initial phase and then subsequently engage the RDC to partner with us.”
In bringing remarks at the event, Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Member of Parliament (MP) for San Fernando East, the Honourable Brian Manning, expressed his gratitude towards the initiative, which he said will bring tremendous benefits to Petit Morne as he looked forward to working closely with the Agriculture Ministry on other projects, in due course.
Also present at the signing of the Agreement were the: Minister of Rural Development and Local Government (RDLG), Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein; Acting Permanent Secretary (MALF), Ms. Susan Shurland; Permanent Secretary (RDLG), Ms. Desdra Bascombe; Chairman of the RDC, Ms. Patricia Alexis and Chief Executive Officer of the RDC, Mr. Jason Kissoon.