I refer to a speech made by the Food Production Minister The Honourable Devant Maharaj on September 7, 2012 and printed in the Express on September 8, 2012 on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Seafood Industry Development Co Ltd's Fish processing establishment in Claxton Bay.
Minister Maharaj said he was interested in having 1,000 acres of land under corn cultivation and intended to use lands already allocated to the Ministry in various estates. The Minister must be highly commended for this initiative and his recent utterances re: food security for the nation are indicative of a new approach to the use of valuable agricultural lands for agricultural use and not for housing.
I would like to inform the Minister that the Petit Morne estate that encompasses the area between the Manahambre Road and the Cipero Road is ideal for corn production and also cassava production. Most of the estate is still available to be given out to farmers. If the Minister can persuade his colleague the Honourable Minister of Housing Dr Roodal Moonilal, to abandon his hare-brained scheme to place houses on these lands and stop the bulldozing of the former large sugar cane fields immediately the 1,000 acres can be had in a continuous block extending into the M1 Ring Road area and Malgretoute.
The remaining fields that have not been as yet denuded of all their top soil can be immediately given out to farmers for corn production. This would entail both Ministries working towards food security for the nation and ensuring that NO rich agricultural lands go to housing under any circumstances. At all times food must take priority over housing.