Agriculture

Locust infestation in Central Trinidad

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat has confirmed there is a locust infestation in several parts of the country. 

The Guardian Media team saw hundreds of locusts in the fields of Tortuga in Central Trinidad but Rambharat said the swarms are currently feeding high up in the forests and are posing no threats to farmers.

Asked whether there was an infestation, Rambharat said yes. He explained that the Ministry had reports of infestations at Tortuga, Caparo, Moruga, and Tabaquite. The insects inhabit areas close to forested areas, Rambharat added.

La Romaine couple reap 20-inch ochro

A La Romaine couple who reaped ochroes 20 inches long are hoping to make it into the Guinness World Book of Records.

Parbatee and Harold Boodoo of Temple Street Duncan Village, San Fernando, planted the deer horn ochroes in their backyard garden six weeks ago but they never imagined that it would grow unusually long.

Ochroes usually grow to six to seven inches but on Sunday when Parbatee ventured to cut ochroes for a meal of crab and callaloo, she realized that one of the trees had an unusual bountiful harvest.

Ban on Venezuelan crab meat

The agriculture minister has instructed the fisheries division to discontinue the issuing of permits for the importation of processed crab meat and live crabs from Venezuela.

The US food and drug administration has found a bacteria in fresh crab meat from Venezuela that can cause cholera. 

Speaking with CNC3 news minister Clarence Rambharat said that the crab meat referred to by the US is processed and packaged crab meat. He says the ministry of trade has stopped issuing licenses for the import of that product from Venezuela. 

Resistant citrus plants imported to replace 200,000 destroyed by greening disease

Almost a year after government destroyed 200,000 citrus plants contaminated by citrus greening disease, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat assured that new resistant citrus stock has been imported from the United States and are now flourishing in the St Augustine nurseries.

In an interview, Rambharat said once the plants are ready for replanting, it will be sold to farmers at the usual cost. 

Lowest rice production in years

Grappling with millions of dollars in debts, local rice farmers say they have experienced their lowest yields ever and are blaming the government and the National Flour Mills.

Figures from NFM show that farmers produced only 126 tonnes of rice for 2018, compared to 2,800 tonnes in 2014. At present there are 30 rice farmers in T&T compared to more than 10,000 in the 1970’s and 80’s.

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