Minister of Food Production, Senator the Honourable Devant Maharaj, is pleased to announce that the food price inflation rate, as calculated by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago for the period January to April, 2014 has remained at 4.1%. Maintaining a reading of 4.1% throughout the first quarter of 2014 signifies the first time in twenty-one (21) years that the food price inflation rate has remained at single digits for four consecutive months. In comparison with the 2014 reading of 4.1%, the food inflation rate for January to April 2009 read a high of 25.4%. Thus far, the steady low average of the food inflation rate for 2014 indicates sure and positive growth for the agricultural sector for this financial year.
Demonstrable strides were also achieved in the agricultural sector in 2013, evidenced by a 77% increase in the contribution of agriculture to GDP from 2009 to 2013, and a 2% reduction in food imports from 2010 to 2013. In September 2013, the food price inflation rate experienced a 24 month low of 3.0%, falling sharply from 13.8% in January 2013.
Minister Maharaj would like to offer his sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of the Ministry’s hardworking staff who were able to implement the various strategies set out by the People’s Partnership government in order to achieve the strides gained in the agricultural sector since 2010. Special thanks are also extended to the farmers who whole-heartedly embraced the government’s strategies and partnered with the Ministry to achieve the tangible results seen today.
The exponential gains made in the agricultural sector were made possible due to the importance that the People’s Partnership government placed on agricultural development as a key initiative toward the benefit of the entire nation. This emphasizes the dedication of the current administration, under the leadership of the Honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who even while utilizing the same resources and many of the same personnel as the previous administration, was able to bring to reality a flourishing agricultural sector.
Minister Maharaj would like to reiterate that the Ministry of Food Production remains dedicated to reducing the food import bill and making Trinidad and Tobago a food secure nation. The Ministry of Food Production will continue to be committed to providing an enabling environment for growth of the agricultural sector, and maintaining definitive results.
June 3rd, 2014: