Let’s get serious about food production

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There was a lot of talk during the previous two years of the covid19 pandemic about a Roadmap to Recovery of the economy and the revival or focus on agriculture for local use products and even for export. Maybe we are still in the planning stage.

Sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, bananas, rice, citrus and coconuts are no longer produced on the large scale or are in rapid decline.

Years ago I suggested three crops that could be cultivated on a large scale on the abandoned Caroni lands. They are corn, soya beans and chick peas (channa). These crops can be used to make many products now being imported like cereal, cooking oil, flour and animal feed as examples.

Yes, channa can be grown in our climate and on our soil as I remember my grandfather growing it in our backyard garden many years ago.

I want to suggest another three crops that can be produced on a large scale for home use and export.

Avocado has gained prominence over the last few years as a health food with its polyunsaturated fat content that is touted to have many health benefits. Worldwide demand has skyrocketed.

No surprise here but the simple mango fruit is in growing demand in the northern temperate countries and is considered a health fruit also. Byproducts include mango drinks, canned mango fruit, green fruit pickles and the green fruit for making a cooked side dish.

Ground nuts can also flourish on the more sandy soils in the country and is a popular legume that is becoming increasingly expensive to import.

We need to produce food, not just talk about food production.

L DASS