Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Clarence Rambharat. Photo: T&T Parliament
By Sue-Ann Wayow
THE Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is estimating that approximately $600,000 will be paid in compensation to farmers affected by flooding in Penal.
Speaking in the Senate on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said the ministry received 36 claims from the farmers so far, 23 from registered farmers.
Opposition Senator Wade Mark had asked Rambharat what steps were taken to compensate farmers for losses suffered.
On Monday, several affected farmers gathered at the Poodai lagoon, off Goodman Branch Trace, Penal, lamenting their losses of over 60 acres of crops.
Rambharat said, “The area is still under water so it is difficult to verify the claims. Once the payments are approved for payment, the Parliament through the Minister of Finance has allocated $9million for assistance to farmers who face flood in this financial year. We estimate that the claims to be around $600,000 and the Ministry is in a position to pay those claims.”
He also spoke about the local rice industry adding that Government could sustain such and was working to support white rice farmers and Hill Rice farmers in Moruga with focus on export.