The Leader of Government Business (Ag.) and Minister of Agriculture, Land & Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat during the debate on the Appropriation (Financial Year 2021) Bill, 2020 in Senate yesterday.

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat yesterday gave the assurance that food hampers are being delivered to all constituencies.

Rambharat attended the post-Cabinet press briefing yesterday at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s and took United National Congress (UNC) Member of Parliament for San JuanBarataria Saddam Hosein to task for not providing names of those in his constituency that need the food hampers.

At a media conference on Wednesday, Hosein said that Rambharat was not providing hampers for his area.

“It surprised me that of all the MP’s he would be one out in the public talking about that because I received several messages from people in his constituency,” Rambharat said.

Rambharat read out one message from a member of Hosein’s constituency who said that when she contacted the MP’s office she was told that there were no hampers to give out.

“I know for a fact that we have sent 200 (hampers) to that constituency,” Rambharat said.

Rambharat said that the Government promised 600 food baskets and then doubled that to 1,200.

“But you will only get your hampers if you had indicated that I have 100 names, I have 100 families to give it to. So MP Saddam Hosein was really a shock to me because so far he has only given 200 names,” Rambharat said.

The Minister said that after Hosein’s media conference on Wednesday, he expected him to submit 400 names to NAMDEVCO for hampers.

“I checked and they said to me, no we’ve gotten nothing,” he said.

Rambharat said that MP for Moruga, Michelle Benjamin requested another 200 to add to the 400 she already gotten and it was being prepared for dispatch.

Rambharat said that Hosein “needed to get his head examined” after he only supplied 200 names yet went on a media conference seeking to blame the Government for not supplying what he never requested.

Two non-governmental organisations in that same area reached out to NAMDEVCO and baskets were provided to them.

“That gives me some assurance that while Saddam Hosein sits wherever and does nothing, two NGO’s got packages,” he said.

He said that while packing up the hampers if extras are available, they would be sent to the NGO’s.

Rambharat said that Oropouche MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has already surpassed the 400 and may go beyond the 600 limit.

“If he goes beyond 600 in his community and we are able to deal with it, we would,” he said.

Rambharat gave the assurance that the food hampers until the end of August and in the next financial cycle will become a permanent part of the Government’s food outreach programme.