THE Government must help dairy and coconut farmers among others, urged Oropouche West MP Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh in a recent statement.
She was unimpressed with recent news photos of the Prime Minister pictured with livestock at a farm in Aripo.
“When you see an unexpected amount of attention being given quite suddenly to agriculture, you know elections are in the air. When you have the Prime Minister nosing around buffalypso pens, know that agriculture is being courted again like the shy maiden, only to be forgotten after the elections are over.”
Gayadeen-Gopeesingh said the Aripo Farm visited by Dr Rowley was initially a research facility under the Ministry of Agriculture, whose entire stock of equipment, plant, buildings, livestock and pens were all given freely to a private sector entity. “Not one cent has been made in profit!” she alleged.
“It is a pity he didn’t visit the coconut farmers in Cedros or Mayaro whose coconut estates were ravaged by red ring disease and neglected by this Rowley regime. But then, they are not friends, family or financiers.”
Gayadeen-Gopeesingh queried Rowley’s boast of doubling dairy production as being out of touch.
“Doesn’t he know that the problem with local dairy is not production but the unconscionable pricing that has a barrel of milk costing a little more than a couple US dollars?
She said dairy farmers are close to abandoning their fields owing to the high costs of feed, labour and veterinary visits plus the very low price their milk was bought for by the commercial sector.
Gayadeen-Gopeesingh said under the UNC national transformation plan, agriculture is one of the main pillars for economic success to ensure national food security and sustained viability.