Ministry of Food Production Trinidad & Tobago
Caroni Green Initiative
Farming and agriculture has been a market driven, free enterprise activity in Trinidad & Tobago over the past decade. For the generations gone by, they have used their intuition to determine how they plant, what they plant and when they plant. There was no scientific way of knowing or understanding supply of demand. Instead, our ancestors used their general knowledge or planting and harvesting for earning their livelihood and this worked when the economy could have fully relied on Oil and Gas. However, with the advancement of technology and new age Agriculture, this now requires a new thinking of the olden methods for effective and efficient delivery by this sector. Farming and in general, agriculture has been a generational type of career, not one that been positively viewed by the younger generations and as such was not seen as an “attractive” career option or as a desirable employer for the “now” generation.
In the meantime, food prices continue to increase along with imports into Trinidad and Tobago, and with decreasing food production, Government has now turned its attention to the Agricultural Sector as a means to an end. Over the years, the focus has been on the Oil and Gas Sector; however, with the declining oil prices and the imminent effect on the Economy. As such, Government through the Ministry of Food Production has turned it’s attention on the GREEN project as part of the Government’s National Action Plan for Food Production 2012 – 2015. As such, Trinidad and Tobago’s economic outlook must again evolve to meet the new world order. This gave birth to Government’s Green Evolution, whose focus is to:
- Balance the preservation of tradition and natural heritage against the economic imperative to advance and profit
- Preserve our environment for future generations to admire, live and feed off through conservation and maintenance
- Be fresh – streamline, innovative, dynamic, future
- Result in monetary returns to all stakeholders
- Be hinged on the imperative to improve food production, security and nutrition in Trinidad and Tobago
- Engender growth in other sectors by leveraging natural linkages through the cultivation of a new model for win – win collaboration between state, industry and inherent stakeholders based on a shared value.
This project was a shared vision approved by GORTT as part of the implementation plan for the National Food Production Action Plan 2012 -2015. In Government’s medium term policy framework document, Agriculture and Food Security is listed as the second most important on a list of Government’s five (5) most important strategies.
The purpose by Government’s Action Plan 2012 – 2015 is as follows, to:
- Reduce the food import bill
- Further reduce inflation, primarily driven by food prices
- Create sustainable, long term productive employment and
- Contribute the diversification of the Economy
Caroni’s New Business Model, known as the Caroni GREEN Initiative diminishes or eliminates security concerns and provides immediate and long term shared value and sustainability by ensuring that each player stands a fair chance of recovering a reasonable return.
Benefits of Caroni Green Initiative
- Since farming and agriculture has been a free enterprise farmers dealt with, several unknown factors such as inclement weather conditions, natural disasters, praedial larceny and many other natural conditions. Caroni GREEN diminishes these dears or concerns from the farmer to Caroni GREEN, with the responsibility of cultivation and all that it entails on Caroni GREEN, not the farmer.
- Plot recipients will allow Caroni 1975 Ltd the use of their land in exchange for the guaranteed payment and earnings. Private farmers will provide expertise and labor and in return, Caroni 1975 Ltd. obtains financing from the Agricultural Development Bank.
- GORTT provides overall support, oversight and active participation and as a result realizes progress in the achievement of national objectives (National Food Security Action Plan 2012 – 2015).
- Caroni 1975 Ltd. provides project management, leadership, and expertise and in return it gets active participation from all the stakeholders involved in food production including training institutions, utility providers and the local community.
- Economies of scale will be realized by the pooling together of land resources of former workers. Thus, this will allow for a reduction in the overall cost of cultivating the plots and thus a heightened potential for profitability for the farmer.
- The aggregate 5,800 being returned to food production is expected to increase the nation’s supply of locally grown food by approximately 11.6% within the two-year timeframe and will successfully support Government initiatives to:
i. Increase food production
ii. Decrease the national food import bill
iii. Reduce food price inflation
iv. Contribute to the diversification of the economy
v. Create sustainable, long term and productive employment
vi. Promote agro-tourism
vii. Regulate and stabilize food prices, and
viii. Increase national food security and nutrition
As such, the Caroni GREEN Initiative allows for certainty, consistency, quality, price stability in the cost of production of its produce, thus allowing for least risk by the farmer and more value for money for the end user, the customer. Caroni GREEN fills the vacuum that previously existed, turning non-productive land by bringing together the factors of production under the Caroni GREEN Initiative by providing safe, healthy food on a consistent basis and at an affordable price to the consumers.
“This is the legacy we will leave to our country. This is the inheritance we will give to our children…security, prosperity and hope.” — Deosarran Jagroo (Chief Executive Officer, Caroni 1975 Ltd.)