Grow more indigenous crops

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 14:15

Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture, Land and Fish­eries Clarence Ramb­harat is hope­ful the re­cent­ly an­nounced $100,000 agri­cul­tur­al grant will en­cour­age farm­ing of more in­dige­nous crops.

The Min­is­ter was speak­ing at the San­ta Rosa First Peo­ples School Ral­ly at the na­tion­al rac­quet cen­tre on Wednes­day.

Ramb­harat said the agri­cul­ture in­cen­tive grant, one of the mea­sures an­nounced in last Mon­day's bud­get, could reignite agri­cul­tur­al ac­tiv­i­ty among the First Peo­ples com­mu­ni­ty.

"There is a lot of talk about this thing they call or­gan­ic foods but the First Peo­ples were the first or­gan­ic farm­ers. In fact, you were the first farm­ers," said Ramb­harat.

"Agri­cul­ture has al­ways been there, and you were the orig­i­nal or­gan­ic farm­ers. It is some­thing that now is a brand, it's a buzz­word. Per­haps this agri­cul­ture in­cen­tive we have launched could be of val­ue of you in build­ing a first peo­ples or­gan­ic brand of food," the Min­is­ter said.

In Au­gust, the First Peo­ples were grant­ed 25 acres of land in Ari­ma to cre­ate a her­itage vil­lage and mu­se­um of their cul­ture.

"The land, as far as I'm con­cerned, es­sen­tial­ly be­longs to you," said Ramb­harat, who stressed that the na­tion should con­tin­ue to pay re­spect to the lega­cy of the First Peo­ples.

"We can't ups one morn­ing and de­cide we gonna build a Trinidad and To­ba­go with­out recog­nis­ing what we met when we came here. What we did with what we found and what we plan to do go­ing in­to the fu­ture. We have to have re­spect for tra­di­tions, for val­ues."

Ear­li­er chief of the First Peo­ples Ri­car­do Bharath-Her­nan­dez said the school ral­ly, was geared to­wards ed­u­cat­ing the na­tion's youth about their his­to­ry.

"There is so much to learn about our in­dige­nous peo­ples, that I urge you as you go along and as you de­vel­op and as you go to high­er forms in your ed­u­ca­tion you will have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to dig deep­er, to re­search more, to learn about our First Peo­ples and their con­tri­bu­tion and their his­to­ry," he said.

The ral­ly is one of the events of First Peo­ples week, which will cul­mi­nate in the cel­e­bra­tion of First Peo­ples Day on Sun­day.