prices will rise'
Keino Swamber South Bureau
Wednesday, August 22nd 2007
President of the Sheep and Goat Farmers Association Shiraz Khan is warning that food prices will continue to rise if small farmers are not given the kind of support they need to increase agricultural production.
He is predicting that the establishment of mega farms, as proposed by Prime Minister Patrick Manning, will cause many small farmers to go under without Government's intervention.
Speaking yesterday at a forum hosted by the Co-operative Credit Union League of Trinidad and Tobago (CCULT) and the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) to discuss Monday's budget presentation by Manning, Khan said changing weather patterns have also had an adverse effect on the agricultural sector.
"In Trinidad and Tobago, we are at the height of our rainy season and we are getting more sun than rain," Khan told the forum at OWTU's Paramount Building in San Fernando.
He said: "If we in the agricultural sector don't get support with this terrible weather we are having now, food prices will go up.
"I don't know how we could have cheaper food prices if they (Government) do not give us some heavy support in terms of subsidies and incentives. The food prices will not go down. It's either we will keep it at this level or it will go up."
Khan said small farmers also needed to be given land.
"Agriculture is not something that makes big money. We need and are demanding more support. It is the only way the agriculture sector will go forward, it's the only way our farmers will produce more," Khan said.
He said farmers will continue to face difficulties in producing food unless issues like praedial larceny and support for them were addressed, and the country would not go anywhere in terms of food production.
"When those mega farms come, the small farmers will deteriorate one by one because we don't have the resources or the help from the State to continue to grow food. That is critical to us," Khan said.
And dat is what de dam kirownee want, so he could bring Vincentians and Haitians to wuk, cause who tell you dem town nigga want to wuk? And it ain't go stop dem from robbing and killing, eh. In no time at all you go see Haitian and Vincentian taking over de place. But woe woe woe unto de Indian farmer who wukking de land for de past hundred years.