By RIA TAITT Friday, August 17 2007
AS GOVERNMENT seeks to expand agricultural production, Prime Minister Patrick Manning stated yesterday Government was going to discuss “as soon as possible” with the Guyanese Government the establishment of large farms in Guyana, “where the land is available.”
Manning made the announcement at the conclusion of the two-day Food Prices Consultation at Bishop Anstey High School in Trincity. At the meeting several participants knocked the use of arable local land for housing projects.
Manning stressed that the TT/Guyana farming idea was being done in the name of Caricom food security. Pointing out that Caricom was this country’s largest market for non-energy products, the PM quipped, “Caricom sinks, we sink. If Caricom floats, we float.”
The Prime Minister also announced that Government planned to formalise the arrangement with the Cuban Government to provide assistance to the small farming communities, including the former Caroni workers.
Manning also allayed fears about the proposed creation of large farms, saying that Government did not intend to promote large farms at the expense of small farms. “What is now contemplated is a new mix — a combination of small and large farms,” he said.
Responding to complaints about the port, Manning also reiterated that Government intended to move the port to a new location east of Sea Lots within 36 months.
Among the proposals which Manning announced were:
*The establishment of a Prices Council to address comprehensively from a supply side perspective, the level of prices in Trinidad and Tobago;
*The establishment of a Consumer Advisory Board to advise the Consumer Affairs Minister on all matters relating to prices and consumerism;
*An immediate review of the package of incentives to agriculture;
*New funding arrangements for the creation and encouragement of new farmers, including immediately making it easier for persons to access lands;
*Discuss with the three ammonia producers the prospect of each of them doing a “demonstration farm” of 100 acres. He said one had already agreed to the proposal;
*Also discuss with these ammonia producers the manufacture of all fertilisers used in Trinidad and Tobago with preferential pricing arrangements for farmers “in the context of their social responsibility”;
*The formulation of a three-year plan for infrastructural development;
*Responding to calls for a FARMPEP (a version of CEPEP), Manning said Government would expand the YAPPA training programme for new farmers and establish within a year with Namdevco a system of contract farming for selected commodities
*Improved cold storage facilities and warehousing capacity in Tobago;
*Special interim arrangements outside of the Police Service to deal with “hot spot areas” of praedial larcency;
*Reduce the restrictions on the importation of food from low cost sources such as Latin America, bearing in mind health and sanitary conditions;
*Establish a Competition Commission to deal with monopoly. Manning also announced that Government planned to begin discussions with the Small Ruminants Society with a view to handing over the Mon Jaloux Farm as soon as the Society presents it with a workable business arrangement;
*Establish an Agriculture Development Commission of all the stakeholders to advise the Minister;
*Appropriate funding for ADB in Budget 2007/8.
He said Government also intended to hold a consultation of building materials but it was on a very “tight time-frame.”
“The time just does not allow us to hold such a consultation before the General Election.
“But,” he added with a wry smile, “after the General Elections, we propose to hold it.” This statement drew chuckles and applause.
Where is conthole Manning getting his brainstorm ideas from?! Apparently the fockin prophetess getting em totolbay.
This suggestion is beyond ludicrous, and is doomed before it even takes flight.
Lets itemize the issues this fockin asshole 'idea' throws up:
Loss of domestic food production and creation of food dependency on Guyana yuh duncee head mudder cont.
Loss of domestic employment in the agricultural sector and it done fockin waning already.
Assumes a level of food processing in T&T that simply does not exist - where is all of this produce going to go? Up in Hazel or Christine cyat ?
Does not address the issue of harvesting and processing in Guyana prior to transportation to T&T: the amount of infrastructural development and human resource training required is staggering and outside the current ability of Guyana to provide cacahole.
Once grown, harvested, and processed , there is still the problem of how to get fresh farm produce to Trinidad quickly and reliably, as I hear nothing in his proposal of refrigerated facilities for cold storage and transport.
How will it all be transported? Plane? Ship? Fast rail? Jammette Narine bottom? (I imagine Manning will next propose to build a submarine tunnel to link us with Guyana...) or fast ferry?
There is then the agricultural inspections to prevent insect vectors and plant diseases from being imported from Guyana - where will the inspection stations be?
Rather than getting these 'vaps' ideas or ideas from the fockin prophetess, he should concentrate on how to bolster and develop agriculture domestically rather than come up with these flights of fancy.
What a capital Idiot conthole!
I think he should start jockin in the bathroom all over again.