File photo: Former chief secretary Ancil Dennis. – David Reid
FORMER chief secretary and PNM Tobago political leader Ancil Dennis is dissatisfied with the way he says the Tobago House of Assembly is spending $300,000 a month on agriculture.
On Tuesday at a media briefing, he said a monthly payment was being made to Trinidad-based Novo Farms for produce which could instead be found on farms across the island. He produced an invoice which showed Novo Farms billing the THA for supplying the market with instant products.
“There are farmers all across Tobago producing, but yet still this administration chooses to spend our money in this scandalous way.
“My information is that $300,000 per month is leaving the THA’s treasury and going into the hands of a Trinidad company to bring to Tobago produce and crops that are being produced here.”
He told the farmers to pay attention.
“I know Tobagonians are generally a quiet people and we tend to wait for the elections for our voices to be heard, but I have a strange feeling that if we choose to wait until elections in this case, due to what is happening on the island currently, election time would be too late. Tobagonians must begin to speak up, and speak up now.”
In June 2022, THA Secretary of Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development Nathisha Charles-Pantin announced that the Tobago Agribusiness Development Company (TADCO) would start supplying alternative flour in partnership with Novo Farms Ltd by September 2022.
Charles-Pantin said an MOU (memorandum of understanding) had already been signed, and the idea was to supply flour not only to Tobago, but throughout TT.
But Dennis said: “That $300,000 per month – how many farmers that could benefit right here in Tobago? $300,000 per month?”