He added that substantial infrastructural work has already been completed on roads, drains, culverts, trenches and irrigation systems. Elaborating on the infrastructural design, Piggott said: the next step would be finished by June, then the next in December and by the first quarter of 2009 work should be fully completed.
According to Piggott, “Agriculture is not an overnight thing, growth is a process which involves seeds, seedlings, planting, maturing and growth”.
He explained that although the plan would take some time to materialise, “agriculture is a top priority of the Government as the State is committed to feeding ourselves and the nation”.
The farms which were built on lands given to ex-Caroni sugarcane farmers are now being utilized to grow root crops and vegetables. Piggott said that given the “fresh farm lands” and the availability of technological advances, not many farmers were needed to grow crops. Piggott reiterated his assertion that “Government is seeking to mitigate any adverse effect on food in Trinidad and Tobago”.
As he elaborated on his position that there was no food crisis in this country, Piggott said that although flour and rice are scarce and expensive, there are alternatives available which provide the same nutritional value. He went on to say that rice farmers can look forward to subsidies in the near future as he will present this matter to Cabinet next week for approval.
He also said that consumers can expect cheaper food supplies soon as the Government is currently talking to Latin American countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica to strengthen trade relation.