The action plans for the cocoa, rice, aquaculture and poultry subsectors have been completed for implementation in the 2002/2003 period.
Trinidad and Tobago's honey has been identified as an export commodity.
Land Administration and Land Distribution
One of the most important input for agricultural development is land.
The Ministry regularized occupants on fourteen blocks of state lands comprising 559ha. One hundred and forty4ive (145) leases were approved.
Letters of offer were made to 280 farmers.
378.76ha have been surveyed and subdivided into 233 plots as a prerequisite to the regularization process.
Adequate infrastructure facilities accelerates the development of agriculture and rural communities.
The Ministry’s infrastructure development programme includes the continued rehabilitation of agriculture access roads, network, and water management and flood control structures in the sector.
The water management and irrigation programme targets the de-silting of drains and rivers in the major production areas and construction of adequate drainage channels and sluice gates to prevent flooding and salt water intrusion.
The Northern Farmers Wholesale Market at Macoya was successfully completed in April 2002.
The Palmiste Lay-bye Market was also completed in 2002.
Work on the Packing House Facility at Piarco continued in 2002.
The Piarco Packing House will facilitate traders for both domestic and international markets
Produce will be cleaned, sorted, graded, packed and stored in order to meet local and international standards especially with respect to quality and food safety.
Work on the upgraded Fishing Centres at Claxton Bay, Maracas, Las Cuevas, Toco, Matelot and San Fernando was completed.
These facilities were upgraded to meet HACCP standards to facilitate fish exports to international markets.
Youth Apprenticeship Programme in Agriculture
The Government implemented the Youth Apprenticeship Programme in Agriculture (YAPA) Programme to stimulate the interest of the young people to become involved in agriculture.
The Programme attracted over 1,000 youths who were selected and attached to selected farms for their induction.
Agriculture Incentives Programme
The Government provided $37.7Mn is support to the agricultural sector in 2002 as follows:
Sugar - $18.5Mn
Cocoa/Coffee - $0.8Mn
Milk - $9.lMn
Copra - $0.lMn
Rice - $2.8Mn
Fisheries - $1.OMn9
Vehicles - $0.6Mn
Machinery and Equipment - $2.OMn
Water pumps/Irrigation/Ponds - $0.4Mn
The Ministry will continue to review and enhance the Agriculture Incentives
Programme so that the desired impact will be made on the sector.
The last agricultural census was taken in 1982.
Government was successful in obtaining FAO assistance to prepare for the Agricultural Census in 2004.
Research and Development
A critical success factor for the transformation of the sector is Research and Development.
Initiatives undertaken include Crop Protection Programme (CPP) using biological control methods for the Hibiscus Mealy Bug (HMB) and Citrus Black Fly (CBF)
The Crop Protection Programme has arrested the decline in citrus production;
CPP has improved the technology in Post Harvest Crop Handling;
The Programme has enhanced the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory;
It included strategies for management and control of infectious diseases in livestock to enhance the management of rabies, tuberculosis and brucellosis.