It has come to my attention by members of the agricultural community that the Livestock and Livestock Products Board, a Statutory Body under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries has been closed with immediate effect.
I wish to highlight the hypocrisy of Mssrs. Clarence Rambharat and Avinash Singh, who in their Senate Contributions outlined plans of splendor and grandeur for the agro-sector but in the same breath have now removed the operational arm responsible for servicing the livestock industry.
When we demitted office, as Minister of Food Production, I had a number of plans for bolstering the Livestock sector, and as a matter of fact, had already begun by putting support mechanisms in place for the existing farmers.
The Praedial Larceny squad was specifically located in Carlsen Field to aid in protecting the livestock farmers of that area from bandits and thuggery & whilst the northern branch was pegged from moving due to the bureaucracy of Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in finding a place to rent – they still kept a visible presence in Aripo and Wallerfield aiding livestock farmers in those areas.
Why remove the Praedial Larceny Squad – when for the first time a dedicated farmer protection policing force had been successfully implemented as the statistics will show. These measures will only ensure the demise of the livestock sector.
The very same Livestock Board then established two(2) milk pasteurization units, one in Chaguanas and the other in Aripo – aimed at the creation of value added products and to boost local production. It was my hope that if re-elected into office we would have been able to continue the Livestock Board’s cattle distribution program, aimed at improving the local gene pool, with the addition of training and developmental programs for the farmers.
I wish to place on the record my gratitude for the outgoing board of the now defunct Livestock and Livestock Products Board, who through their valiant efforts, represented and developed the sector from the formation in 1998 to present.
In my contribution to the Appropriation bill 2015, I reminded the country of the PNM’s record in Agriculture, close down this, close down that, and now we wait as a country to see which other company or division faces the axe of spite and vindictiveness .
Former Minister of Food Production