THA secretary hails Tadco, Namdevco MOU: It's a massive step
SECRETARY of Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development Nathisha Charles-Pantin has described the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Tobago Agribusiness Development Company (TADCO) and National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (Namdevco) as a "massive step" for agriculture in Tobago.
The MoU seeks to strengthen their business relationship as it will benefit all stakeholders along the chain from farm to table.
Charles-Pantin attended the signing ceremony on Wednesday at Namdevco's Piarco Packinghouse, Caroni North Bank Road and said she was excited at the prospects.
In a release, Namdevco said the collaboration will help develop a business-to-business relationship.
It said, “That will lead to a transfer of knowledge, skills and abilities that would facilitate growth and development of all stakeholders in the agriculture sector of Tobago towards certification and the facilitation of practices inclusive of GAP (good agricultural practices) and the required data collection systems that will allow for traceability and increased market opportunities locally, regionally and internationally.”
Namdevco is also looking at creating synergies with TADCO that will result in success for the stakeholder and the enhancement of the value chain as it relates to the agro-processing and marketing of produce and products.
The release also said that the collaboration will enable production planning and related policy development.
“Namdevco remains committed to the growth and sustainability of TT’s agricultural sector by the offering of agribusiness and marketing solutions that will contribute to the social and economic well-being of all our stakeholders.”
Charles-Pantin said, "It's a massive step for Tobago. You're looking at providing those services to the primary producers, meaning farmers, and agri processors so that we can finally get on the international markets our products and fresh produce.
"I really appreciate the co-operation coming from Namdevco. It signals we are on the right path in increasing these value-added products that we want on the market."
Charles-Pantin said the THA has already mobilised farmers under the poultry contract farm initiative and other programmes. She believes the partnership will augur well for the agriculture sector. "Those farmers that want to venture into commercial farming will have to meet certain standards We also have the Capital of Paradise I (sea vessel) who spent a year exporting yellow fin tuna to the US. So we are already involved in creating different industries so we can enter the international market. I am really excited about the entire partnership."
Asked about Tobago farmers use of mechanisation, Charles-Pantin said the THA has increased its fleet of tractors and excavators.
"We have strategically placed some of the tractors under Tadco so those farmers who are into commercial farming can get the assistance."
The signing ceremony was also attended by Ricardo Alfred, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tadco; Wayne Inniss, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Namdevco; and other officials.
"THA secretary hails Tadco, Namdevco MOU: It’s a massive step"