PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Sept. 15, CMC – The National Foodcrop Farmers’ Association (NFFA) says it is against a recently announced land deal with Guyana in which 10,000 acres of land will be made available for agricultural production.
The Farmers’ Association has vowed to protest against the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana .
On Monday, Finance Minister, Larry Howai unveiled the arrangements surrounding the land deal but the farmers say they were "not consulted".
President of the Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT) Dhanoo Sookoo said the decision was not properly thought out and he believes the country has sufficient arable lands that are currently being underutilised.
The President of the NFFA, Terrence Haywood said the Government should put its house in order before going outside.
“Right now our farmers are unable to get leases, irrigation ponds and proper infrastructure. This is unfair to us. They need to see about our farmers first. This is a slap in the face for us.” Haywood said there was no consultation with his association which represents 19,000 farmers who are upset over the Government’s latest move.
“We are calling for this decision to be rescinded,” Haywood said. The farmers intend to have a forum and "if they (the Government) fail to listen to our suggestions, we will protest".
In addition to the 10,000 acres of land in Berbice available for immediate agricultural production. A further 90,000 acres of Guyana’s land will also be made available to the twin island republic, with the Government inviting private-sector investment in agricultural production.