National Conversation on Agriculture

The Trade and Economic Development Unit of the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, hosted a conversation on Agriculture Outcomes and Food Security Challenges in Trinidad and Tobago.

Key Presenters

The main Presenter was Prof Wayne G Ganpat, a Former Dean of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad. He was followed by Mr. Kent Viera, Aquaculture Entrepreneur, and owner of Kent Farms Ltd, the leading aquaculture farm in Trinidad and Tobago. Senior lecturer at UWI, Dr. Roger Hosein also contributed to the conversation.

Top Outcomes

  1. The agriculture sector needs a plan and a champion to achieve the transformation necessary for the industry to thrive and for the country to achieve the goal of food sustainability.

2. The country appears to be stuck and it is necessary for the population to be informed about the policy and strategy

3. Former Caroni lands provide an opportunity for farming but we need to assess the quantity of land that is actually still available.

4. There is a need to establish a database of graduates who have been trained and are interested in agriculture.

5. The population needs to be informed about the details of the food import bill so they can engage in the behaviour change required to help reduce imports.

6. There are examples of how technology is being used to modernize farming and agriculture and these success stories need to be popularized.

7. There is a need to implement a plan to reduce the incidents of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) using agriculture and farming.

8. Agriculture needs to be re-designed using an all-of-country approach to remove the former siloed approach.

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