Thursday, February 23, 2017
23rd February, 2017
The President General of the All Trinidad General Workers’ Trade Union and Political Leader of the National Solidarity Assembly, Mr. Nirvan Maharaj is offering full support to Mr. Liaquat Ali in his call for the Agricultural Development Bank to be made a Commercial Bank facilitating the Agricultural Sector of Trinidad and Tobago.
There is no doubt that innovative ways must be found to stimulate the Agriculture Sector in order to assist in the diversification of the Economyand allow this sector to be the foundation upon which the diversification stands, especially in light of the fact that Trinidad and Tobago imports billions of dollars of food every year.
An idea such as this can allow for a more enabling agricultural environment, with the Agricultural Development Bank, operating on the basis of profit making, but with a flexibility based social conscience and understanding of the unique circumstances our agriculturalist sometimes have to undergo, e.g. natural disasters and surplus or reduced produce etc.
This will allow our people engaged in the Agricultural Sector to escape the trapping of sometimes unimaginable Bank charges and procedures that sometimes make financial assistant to those engaged in Agriculture almost impossible, more so when Farmers are on Tenanted Lands or fall within the realm of State Lands and Caroni VESEP Lands.
The time has come to ensure that the interest of the nation, more so food security is placed above seemingly myopic narrow minded business interest, geared only towards profit maximization by any means necessary.
The idea of Mr. Ali is indeed one that should be considered by those in Authority, and after a proper logistical study is done, the necessary legislative reform be put in place to give impetus to an idea, that if properly implemented, can help stimulate economic growth, ensure food security, create employment, make agriculture attractive to the young and ease the financial constraints facing our nation.
We are therefore calling on the Minister of Agriculture to begin immediate discussions with the Minister of Finance and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure that the process to give practical manifestation to this idea is dealt with in an expeditious manner.
President General (ATGWTU)
Political Leader (NSA)
3rd Vice President (NATUC)