URP Tobago wants to expand agriculture programme

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Roland Murray, assistant regional supervisor, agriculture unit, URP Tobago. –

Roland Murray, assistant regional supervisor, agriculture unit, URP Tobago, is beaming with pride, as a bumper harvest is expected from the Roxborough unit.

In a media release on Monday, URP said there are over 20,000 plants in the ground in Roxborough, amounting to an increase in production of over 100 per cent.

It said the community, markets and farmers can rely on URP for quality produce: cassava, sweet potato, pepper, ochros, plantain, pumpkin, pigeon peas, paw paw, lettuce, patchoi, celery, kale, chive and a variety of seedlings.

Murray said, “The aim is to make Tobago self-sufficient. The main thing is food security on the island. Under the URP programme, when we produce, people in the community and beyond get food at a cheaper rate.”

He said the plan is to expand the URP agriculture programme to other districts, but it must be able to sustain itself.

“What we would do, go into the districts, identify a parcel of land, and look for a suitable crop that suits that environment.”

URP nursery skilled worker Tricia Rodney said the Roxborough agriculture programme is attracting a number of young people.

“It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s new. A lot of young people (are) coming out for the agriculture, and that’s good. I never see (so many) new faces before, it’s usually the same faces over and over.”

Murray said when there is a big harvest, the excess is usually shared among the URP workers to encourage them to continue.