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GOVERNMENT MOVES TO DESTROY PRODUCTIVE FARMLAND ON GOOD FRIDAY

posted 18 Apr 2011, 21:07 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 19 Apr 2011, 15:15 ]
GOVERNMENT MOVES TO DESTROY PRODUCTIVE FARMLAND 

ON GOOD FRIDAY

by Tode Loo

The Trinidad and Tobago Government, through the HDC and the ODPM, will embark on the destruction of 75 acres of prime agricultural farmlands on Good Friday, 2011.

These 75 acres, in the immediate vicinity of Pricesmart, D'Abadie, have been contributing to food production in Trinidad and Tobago for the last 62 years.

The Government proposes to build an ODPM shelter and 200 1-storey houses on this acreage and dismantle over half a century of productive farming.

Whilst the Government's housing thrust is to be applauded, the lack of any consultation is totally appalling and borders on dictatorial.

Had any meaningful consultation taken place, the government would have realized that there are suitable state lands just 100 metres south of their proposed site which would accommodate both the ODPM and the 200 1-storey, whilst preserving the existing 75 acres of productive farmlands, a win-win situation for all.

Lack of Consultation

Various government ministers and ministries [Winston Dookeran (Finance), Mary King (Planning), Anil Roberts (MP for affected area), Vasant Bharat (Agriculture), Roodal Moonilal (Housing)] have been provided with a comprehensive document on this prepared by the Crescent Gardens Residents Association, the Santa Monica Gardens Residents Association and the National Food Crop Farmers Association (see here) but to date, none of them have seen it fit to respond.

How this affects you

Rising food prices affect everyone. Government's own figures point to an average increase of over 20% since 2005 (see here) If your salary had seen these increases every year since 2005, this correspondence would not be necessary. Sadly, it doesn't work that way and our food purchasing power is eroded daily.

What you can do
Send this to your friends on Facebook
Call your MP and ask 2 questions:

· What is government policy on agriculture in relation to our country's food security?

· Why should productive agricultural lands be destroyed when alternative sites, on state lands, are readily available?

We can sit back and watch things go by or we can act and change the course of history for a better world. To sit back is to give Good Friday a whole new meaning
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Gerry Kangalee,
19 Apr 2011, 15:12
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