The Member of Parliament for Oropouche West, Mrs. Vidia Gayadeen- Gopeesingh, is condemning the failure of the Rowley led Government to provide relief to the farmers of the Los Iros Hillview Farmers Association who were affected by the earthquake of Tuesday 21st August 2018.
In a release issued on Wednesday the MP stated, “On Tuesday night the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago witnessed a government highlighting its incompetence in dealing with critical issues affecting citizens trying to earn an honest dollar. What is more alarming is that the PNM administration has sought to mislead the population utilizing the Parliamentary Chamber and their inept Minister of Agriculture.”
Commenting on a CNC3 news report in which the Los Iros farmers once again called on the government to intervene, the MP stated, “During question time on Friday 7th December 2018, I asked Minister Rambharat to indicate the expected date for a proper structural assessment of damages of the site and when the farmers could expect compensation. The Minister indicated that rehabilitative work commenced immediately after the earthquake and that the affected farmers would benefit from same.”
The MP continued, “How is that on Tuesday night, six months after the work commenced according to the minister’s response , we have nineteen farmers from Los Iros indicating that nothing was done to assist them on national television? The video footage from the report clearly shows dried up ponds, impassable roads and no crops, contrary to the minister’s pronouncements of relief delivery. We must now question whether the Minister was ill advised in responding to my question, or did he mislead the parliament and the population?”
The MP accused the negligent Prime Minister, the self-proclaimed farmer of ignoring the cries for assistance from his farming brethren and called for the removal of Mr. Clarence Rambharat as Minister of Agriculture Land and Fisheries.
Mrs. Gayadeen- Gopeesingh indicated that she has been in constant contact with key stakeholders within the sector and noted that the general notion is that the substantive Minister simply does not have a grasp on the sector; which has led to the collapse of the cocoa and most recently the rice industries.
The MP continued “The situation with the Los Iros farmers clearly highlights exactly why the Minister has to be removed. It is obvious that he does not understand his role. If he did, he would appreciate that during the dry season the very ponds the farmers are asking to be repaired are the foundation for their irrigation systems.”
In closing MP Gayadeen-Gopeesingh stated “The state’s involvement in the agriculture sector has dwindled tremendously under the stewardship of this clueless minister. We have seen numerous components of the agriculture network set up by the People’s Partnership administration either dismantled or left underutilized.”
Vidia Gayadeen- Gopeesingh
MP Oropouche West
Dated: 13th February 2019