Government can invest more heavily in the agriculture sector to help farmers produce more, which would help reduce the country’s billion-dollar food import bill. But at the end of the day, people in TT must be willing to consume what is produced locally.
This was the view of Prime Minister Dr Rowley as he spoke “live” on radio station i95 FM yesterday, with host Natalee Legore. He said farmers are willing to produce more so they could help bridge the gap for TT’s need for foreign exchange but a cultural conversation and conversion needs to take place.
“Nobody forces anybody to eat anything in this country. Much of what we consume is imported and therefore there is a foreign exchange consumption.” Rowley said investing more into agriculture will not make much of a difference if people intend to consume foreign items instead of local.
“We eat flour which is imported wheat. We eat rice which is largely imported because we don’t have the capacity here to be self sufficient in rice. We eat all kinds of refined products imported from abroad. The local produce we eat is what you buy in the market, the fresh produce. Outside of that, that is where the huge import bill is.