Local farmers being prepped to export to US

CEO Nirmalla Debysingh-Persad, has reported that LOCAL farmers were being trained and prepared to have their fresh produce exported to the US says National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (Namdevco) . Through her statement, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) examined the audited accounts of Namdevco for the period 2008-2011 during a meeting at the Parliament building, Port of Spain.

She said many millions of pounds of local produce had been exported into US and Canada but with the US act local farmers would have to abide by the requirements.

Debysingh-Persad said there were approximately 13,000 farmers in this country and more than 500 daily utilised Namdevco facilities and 2,300 were registered with Namdevco’s farm certification and monitoring programme.

PAC chairman Dr Bhoe Tewarie asked if Namdevco had data on all 13,000 farmers but Debysingh-Persad said the corporation only had information on the 2,300 registered farmers.

Tewarie said he found it “a little troubling” there was such a lack of data about farmers in the TT and who was operating on State lands, on their own lands and outside the system.

“Unless we can deal with these problems I don’t see how we can go forward.”