If T&T’s agriculture sector has to move forward, policies are needed for supermarkets to buy from farmers and private sector investment is also necessary to advise farmers on agricultural planning as is successfully done in St Lucia and Jamaica, says Agricultural Society president Dhanoo Sookoo.
This was among recommendations Sookoo made to Parliament’s Land and Physical Infrastructure committee yesterday.
Cocoa farmers in central Trinidad are expecting to export more of the valuable beans this year.
Thundershowers drenched most of T&T on Sunday following a scorching dry season, bringing gusty winds which toppled trees and broke branches in North Trinidad.
But by midday, the T&T Meteorological Office cancelled its adverse weather alert from yellow to green saying weather conditions had improved significantly although a few showers were still expected to linger into the night.
There were no reports of any major damage or flooding.
In South Trinidad, the rains started around 7 am and lasted well after midday.
Four Aranguez farmers pleaded not guilty to illegally siphoning water to their farms before a Port of Spain Magistrate this morning.
Ishwar Singh, Ted Rampersad, Teemal Ramesh, and Ramnath Moonilal appeared before Magistrate Magistrate Sanara Toon-McQuilkin in the Third court this morning to answer the charge of abstracting water from a watercourse without a license to water plants.
The matter was adjourned to June 3r after the prosecution said they had incomplete evidence summaries to present to the court this morning.
Eight farmers who were warned by WASA for abstracting water illegally - including four who were charged - have all applied for and received abstraction licences.
Confirmation of this has come from Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte, who told reporters at Parliament yesterday that “these are being worked on together with (applications) for a number of other individuals and WASA is working closely with the respective bodies to have this resolved expeditiously and amicably so farmers won’t be affected.”
An intensification of locust spraying is set to begin today after the Ministry of Agriculture St Patrick Locust Unit finally received a refurbished wheel tractor which enables cluster spraying.
A source said the tractor was repaired but there were two minor mechanical issues to rectify.
"Once these issues are addressed, we expect full spraying to resume today," the source said.
On Sunday farmer Rishi Ramroop said the locust swarms were so bad that the insects were now entering homes.
WASA has officially charged two farmers who were reportedly siphoning water in Aranguez for their gardens.
The farmers were served with summonses to appear in court later this month while they were meeting with Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat on Tuesday evening.
On Saturday, security officers employed with WASA confiscated the pumps of two farmers in the Aranguez district.
The farmers had threatened legal action against the move and demanded the return of their equipment.