PRESIDENT of the Trinidad Unified Farmers Association Shiraz Khan says a significant number of farmers will not be able to access any of the tax-free incentives given to the agricultural sector. This is because they are not registered farmers and do not have any security of land tenure.
Khan was speaking at the OWTU/ Co-operative Credit Union League’s annual People’s Sector post-budget breakfast forum at the union’s Paramount Building, Circular Road, San Fernando on Tuesday.In typical fiery style, Khan said he too is not a registered farmer.“The major problem in agriculture is access roads, registration of farmers and land tenure. You do not get a lease. And let me tell you something, Shiraz Khan is not the State. I can’t give nobody land. All I have is a six-by-four piece of land in the cemetery in Longdenville waiting for me.”
Khan says anyone who operates on a piece of land in agriculture is a state-land farmer who deserves a lease from government.
“Only government can give you that lease so that you can be registered as a farmer.“I don’t have a lease, I don’t have land tenure, and I don’t have a farmer’s ID. I can’t benefit from nothing that they giving out in this country.“They want to keep you hand-to-mouth because if they give you that lease, you can now take that lease and go to the bank to do agriculture and you will get too rich.”Khan said Imbert had not mentioned global warming or climate change which is affecting the world through extremes in temperature.“We have, in the rainy season, tremendous heat. We have floods taking place where it never had floods before, we have floods taking place in the dry season and we have no rain in the rainy season. These things need to be addressed because it will affect our agriculture sector.”