THA to invest $ 50 million in new agricultural projects


Farmer Oje Alexander, left, shows Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis some of his crops during a recent visit to his farm in Plymouth Road. – Photo courtesy of THA

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is set to invest some $ 50 million in an agricultural land development program in six agricultural estates on the island.

And by this week, the THA will begin distributing materials to around 30 farmers in Lammy Road, Argyle, to legally occupy land in the area.

Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis made the announcements Thursday at a political meeting in the Belle Garden / Glamorgan constituency to endorse PNM candidate in the December 6 THA election, Kenneth “Puncheon” Thomas.

Regarding the $ 50 million farmland program, Dennis said, “We are going to establish good roads, we will establish water, electricity and we are going to put young people in these positions with no less than 2.5. acres of land and we are going to give you the financial support you need to go grow food, earn money for yourself and feed the people of Tobago.

Dennis said Lammy Road will be part of the first phase of the program, as will Belmont Road, a farming area further east.

“We are in the first phase to develop some 80 acres of land for agricultural purposes.”

He said he had already approved a list of 30 farmers engaged in animal husbandry.

Dennis told the audience he was very impressed with the work being done by young poultry farmer Nyron Orr at Mt St George.

“He has a very impressive poultry situation. I’m saying you have a situation on this farm where there are over 2,000 birds, layers and even broiler chickens. I say the young man produces and supplies supermarkets across the island, supplies restaurants and supplies individuals.

But Dennis said Orr was operating in an area with several residential buildings and as a result people complained about his operation.

“But I have given this young man the pledge, your Tobago House of Assembly will develop land in a suitable location and we will make land available to you and you will be able not only to transfer your operations but also to develop yourself. “

He assured that Orr would be staying at Belmont Road.

Dennis said that in phase two of the program, some 40 to 50 farmers will occupy the land in the Richmond Estate.

“I’m aware that you already have farmers producing, but again we’re going to do the same as we plan to do in Lammy Road. We are going to go to that land and we are going to subdivide the 200 acres, build the roads, install the infrastructure, water and electricity.

He added that around 30 farmers will also occupy 100 acres of farmland on the Friendship Estate.

“So I am saying through this agricultural land development program, we are going to see the development of almost 600 acres of land with 200 to 300 farmers across Tobago settling in these places and rapidly improving our food production situation. “

Dennis said the THA also intends to improve to give Tobago fishermen the opportunity to buy bigger boats.

He said fishermen who wish to switch from canoes to larger vessels will have the option to do so through the Tobago Agri-Business Development Company.

“I asked them to look at a situation that will help fishermen, whether it is companies or cooperative arrangements, to buy bigger boats and I say we are going to make sure that we move our fishermen. here in East Tobago and other parts of Tobago – for those who want to rise to the challenge and for those who want the challenge – we transfer them from canoes to larger commercial vessels to go there and fish and produce for our people of Tobago.

Margie D. Carlisle