Trinidad & Tobago

The twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the leading producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean.  As a result, the agricultural sector is small by comparison but is still regarded as a socially and commercially important sector, as it accounts for use of some 16.7% of the land area. While the contribution of the agricultural sector to the GDP of the country is less than 1%, it contributes 5% to total employment, and is particularly beneficial to those living in rural communities.

A national economic policy and strategy has been conceptualised which places greater emphasis on the growth of the non-oil foreign exchange earnings and relatively labour-intensive sectors of the economy, such as tourism, agriculture, agro-processing, and financial services. 

Action Plan for Agriculture 

The National Food production Action Plan 2012-2015  was developed out of this strategy and aims to:

  • reduce the food import bill
  • reduce food price inflation
  • create sustainable, long term productive employment
  • contribute to the diversification of the economy; and increase the country’s food security

Staples selected to be developed under the food security component of the plan were:

  • Rice
  • Dasheen
  • Cassava
  • Eddoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Breadfruit

Vegetables earmarked to be grown to support the domestic market were:

  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Peppers
  •  Pak Choi
  •  Lettuce
  • Melongene

The plan also seeks to encourage the growth of legumes and pulses like:

  • Black Eye Peas
  • String Beans
  • Pigeon Peas
  • Bodi (long beans)
  • Seim (Dolichos lablab)

It also focuses on producing a year-round supply of fruits like:

  • Citrus
  • Sucrier
  • banana
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Dwarf Pommecythere (golden apple)
  • Papaya (Pawpaw)
  • Avocado
  • Watermelon
  • Banana/Plantain
  • Coconuts for water

Livestock/ Aquaculture

The strategic plan in this area is to increase the levels of pork and poultry production as well as fish stock.  

The 2012 – 2015 Action Plan outlines several challenges to the development of the sector including:

  • an inconsistent supply of vegetables during the year
  • inconsistent quality of vegetables
  • misuse of pesticides

As a result, a number of strategies have been developed to address these challenges. They include: the development of technology and infrastructure for post-harvest storage and the handling of produce; developing and encouraging farmers to use protected production systems; improving the system of farm certification; and, working with the Ministry of Health to develop the capability of pesticide testing of plant produce for consumption.

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