Four investors, two local and two international, have signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Caroni GREEN, with a combined investment capital value of $310 million, that are expected to generate 940 permanent and seasonal jobs within a three-year period.
Food Production Minister, Devant Maharaj, said the investments would “open up the agriculture sector by delving into the areas of bio-fuels, processing, exportation of value-added packs and linkages, such as agriculture supplies.”
The MOU documents were signed yesterday at the Hilton Trinidad, by Caroni GREEN’s chief executive, Deosaran Jagroo, representatives of UK-based Emunite Energy Solutions and St Lucia-based Baron Foods Limited, as well as the owner of Ramlagan’s General Hardware and Electrical Limited in Couva, and Maraval dasheen bush farmer/entrepreneur, Daran Soondarsingh.
Emunite Energy Solutions, which produces bio-fuels, has expressed interest in growing Giant King Grass on 3,500 acres of land for the production of ‘Green fuel’ (bio-fuel) in collaboration with cane farmers.
Baron Foods Limited, one of the largest food processors in the Caribbean, is perhaps best known for its banana ketchup. Maharaj said the company would like to set up “one of the largest and most modern food processing facility in Trinidad, at a cost of approximately $100 million over a three-year period.”
Baron Foods also has plans to invest in the cultivation of 100 acres of crops for the purpose of agro-processing. This particular investment is expected to create more than 200 permanent jobs in TT.
Local investor and CEO of Ramlagan’s Hardware, Nateram Ramlagan, has plans to open the Caribbean’s largest garden shop and agro-superstore “somewhere in central Trinidad, likely Couva.”
The $100 million investment would generate approximately 200 permanent jobs and provide farmers and food processors with everything from chemical fertilisers to equipment, and seeds.
Maharaj noted that the fourth investor, Daran Soondarsingh, “is well known as one of TT’s largest exporters of green vegetables.”
Soondarsingh wants to buy 200,000 bundles of dasheen bush weekly from local farmers for export to New York.
“The estimated value of this export is $320,000 per week (while) this investment is estimated to be $10 million. This would create approximately 40 permanent jobs and generate revenues of approximately $16 million per annum.
The Ministry of Food Production is confident that the investment will lay the foundation and develop the infrastructure to export crops produced by Caroni GREEN,” Maharaj stated.