Pay attention to global food-security issues

THE EDITOR: According to the UN, the food security of the most vulnerable population groups is likely to deteriorate further due to the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and now, the war in Ukraine.

The pandemic and war have intensified the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems – understood to be all activities affecting the production, distribution and consumption of food.

When global food prices recently rose to unprecedented levels, countries sought ways to insulate themselves from potential shortages and price shocks.

Several food-exporting countries imposed export restrictions, choosing instead to keep their products for the local market. Certain key importers began purchasing grains at any price to maintain domestic supplies.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister gave feedback on his trip to Guyana, explaining the purpose of that visit and the progress made to ensure food security not only for Trinidad and Tobago but all of Caricom.

Being a farmer himself, I am sure Dr Rowley clearly understands the importance of food security and has a very clear idea on what needs to be done to achieve it.

I am not sure if people understand how close we are to a severe food crisis due to global developments. Ukraine is a known global supplier of wheat and grain.

Just this week, international media reported shortages of food and even baby formula in the mighty US and across Europe.

If this is what is happening in developed countries, what then for TT? We need to pay attention to global trends and act accordingly.

As a people, Trinis have had this false perception that we would always have pre-packaged, so-called convenient food from the US. We have become enthralled by advertisements on cable television on foreign, processed food. Our annual food import bill can attest to this.

The collaboration between TT and Guyana can reap many benefits not only in terms of trade, but also in our ability to eat healthier, lower our food import bill and most importantly, create sustainable employment and generate revenue while diversifying our economy.

We must be aware that we cannot only depend on the government to provide our food.

We have the perfect climate to grow most of the food we need. Small backyard gardens are a tangible means of creating our own healthy food. Food security is very much our own personal responsibility as it is the government's.


San Fernando


"Pay attention to global food-security issues"

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