$5M to Modernise Rice Industry

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

GOVERNMENT is investing $5 million into the revitalisation and modernisation of the local rice industry.

Last week, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Kazim Hosein met with a group of rice farmers  in Caroni. 

The meeting opened dialogue between technical teams from the ministry  and key industry stakeholders, a media release on Thursday stated.


During the discussion, Hosein informed stakeholders  that the $5 million  would be used for the first phase of the project, and funding would increase as the project develops in the medium and long term. 

He said, “The government is committed to reducing the food import bill. We recognise that rice is one of the most important staple foods in Trinidad and Tobago, constituting a regular part of the daily diet of most citizens.”

According to Hosein, the initial phase would entail rehabilitating and repairing rice field access roads, irrigation and drainage channels and other supportive infrastructure works. It will also include land clearing and drainage/irrigation upgrades.

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“It’s a mammoth project that may span years, but we are committed to starting and completing it,” he said.

He further described the project as strategic saying the revitalising and modernising of the local rice industry will increase regional food security and reduce the almost100 per cent dependence on rice imports.


Hosein pledged to further meet with key stakeholder agencies, including the Ministry of Trade, National Flour Mills and the Agricultural Development Bank officials to discuss the issues facing them.

The ministry’s release stated that since 2008, local rice production has been accounting for less than five per cent of local demand, with the shortfall in supply (more than 95%) met by imports. 

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In 2019, 2020 and 2021, rice imports were valued at $126,514,257 million, $136,445,295 million and $146,408,204 million, respectively according to information from the Central Statistical Office.


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