Saturday, February 17, 2018

Devant speaks at UN Assembly


Mark Fraser

TRINIDAD and Tobago has engaged in at least four initiatives to stabilise its food security, Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj told a joint forum hosted by the UN Assembly and Economic and Social Council (Eosoc) last week.

Maharaj was part of a five-member forum on partnerships entitled “The role of partnerships in the implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda” at the UN headquarters in New York, USA, on Wednesday and Thursday. 

The panel explored the theme “Scaling up partnership opportunities in food and nutritional security and marine resources”, a media release from the Ministry of Food Production stated.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) notes that one in eight people suffer hunger on a daily basis and the costs to society include lost productivity, health, well-being, decreased learning ability and overall reduced fulfilment of human potential.

Eradicating hunger requires increasing investment in food and agriculture while at the same time strengthening the resilience of agriculture and food systems to climate change, the FAO has stated.

 Maharaj’s presentation focused on four examples of partnership arrangements from this country’s experience that have contributed to five consecutive quarters of growth in agriculture and a food inflation rate that moved from 29 per cent in 2010 to 5.4 per cent as of February 2014.

These partnerships included a Food Security Facility in Guyana, established by the governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana; the Commercial Large Farms Programme, a Public-Private Sector partnership, the Ministry of Food Production, farmers, former sugar workers and the State Agricultural Enterprises responsible for sugar production and related products (Caroni (1975) Ltd, Namdevco);  (a share value business arrangement) known as  the Caroni Green Initiative and the Public/Private Sector partnership among Ministry of Food Production, Dairy Farmers of Trinidad and Tobago and Nestle enter to increase the number of dairy cows in Trinidad and Tobago.