WADE MARK, a member of the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Land and Infrastructure, has chided Ministry of Agriculture officials who were unable to provide a development plan for the sector, due since 2017.
“I’m totally unimpressed with what I’ve heard today,” Mark said. “We can’t get a proper answer but have to get in it in writing, even when they knew they were coming here today. This is dealing with transformation of the economy, food security and nutrition.”
His remarks came at the committee met on Tuesday after permanent secretary (PS) Lydia Jacobs promised the document at a future date and senior land information officer Tricia Melville had said they first need to know how many farmers exist, where they are and what crops they are planting.
Pressed about any training the ministry offers to youngsters to get into farming, director of extension training and information services Wilhelmina Kissoon-Singh said the 4H clubs teach traditional agriculture methods.
Chief technical officer Simone Titus said pupils are also shown non-traditional agriculture at stations at the Sugar cane Feed Centre in Chaguanas.
Fisheries officer Harnarine Lalla said the ministry also offers demonstrations in aqua-culture or fish-harming.
JSC member Nigel de Freitas asked if farming is viable. Jacobs replied, “Most definitely. Successful ventures across the country are doing quite well.”