SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

The COVID-19 pandemic put a harsh spotlight on this country’s food security and Finance Minister Colm Imbert says, the Government will now do all it can to ensure that this country can feed itself.

Speaking during the presentation of the 2020/2021 Budget, with the theme “Resetting the Economy for Growth and Innovation”, Imbert said in the past, agriculture has contributed less than one per cent of the country’s GDP.

Imbert said the government is now committed to insulating the economy against food shortages.

He said agriculture is now at the top of the Government’s national policy agenda.

Imbert said a $500 million Agriculture Stimulus Package is being established and funded in 2021.

This is in addition to the budgetary allocation to agriculture, Imbert said.

He assured that land tenure issues would be resolved and the Government will guarantee the purchase of produce for its school feeding and other programmes.

He said there will also be a strong focus on integrating technology in agriculture.