Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 30th 2014 Contents SHALIZA HASSANALI
Today marks 21 days since agri-
cultural farms in Plum Mitan have
been under waist-high flood waters.
The water, which flooded 1,200
acres of cultivated lands in the sleepy
farming community following heavy
rainfall on November 10, has destroyed
approximately $20 million worth of
crops in various stages of growth.
In light of this, the farmers are urg-
ing consumers to brace for higher food
prices for the upcoming Christmas.
The flood has disrupted the lives
of 175 farmers. On Thursday, president
of the Plum Mitan/Biche Farmers
Association Hakim Mowlah called for
the farming district to be declared a
disaster zone by the Government.
He attributed the widespread deluge
to iron railings being placed at the
end of the Main Line River, which has
been trapping debris and litter.
Mowlah said failure to dredge the
three-mile long river was another
contributing factor to the floods.
"Whenever the rain falls, the water
from the river has nowhere to go and
would back up in our farms," Mowlah
A tour of the area showed thou-
sands of cucumber, plantain, pimento,
melon, rice, hot pepper, corn, ochro
and pumpkin plants, leaves yellow
and wilted, were covered in water
reaching the waist and knees. Rotten
crops which gave off an offensive smell
were also seen floating on the water s
Plum Mitan is the country s second
largest producer of rice, watermelon,
plantain and cucumbers, the farmers
Six pumps belonging to the Ministry
of Food Production which were strate-
gically placed in Blocks One to Four
have been working around the clock
to channel the water out. But Mowlah
said it would take another two weeks
for the volume of water to subside.
Declare Plum Mitan
a disaster zone
"We are accustomed to the floods,
but this is the worst we have seen in
years. I think the Government should
declare the area a disaster zone
because of the magnitude of the sit-
uation," Mowlah said.
He said while the Government was
focusing its attention on the collapsed
Manzanilla Road, the farmers plights
were being sidelined.
He said it takes months for farmers
to receive flood relief.
Many of the farmers complained
that the compensation they received
last year from the Government was a
far cry from the actual losses incurred.
Mowlah said in 2013 he received a
mere $131 in compensation for his
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 30, 2014
What is the subtle connection
between the rights we are
entitled to and our duties?
Bhagawan lovingly explains to
Life will be unfulfilled by merely spending time.
When you enquire earnestly whether duty comes
first or right comes first, several people insist
upon 'rights'. Ask yourself - Where did 'rights or
entitlements' come from? When you perform your
duty, its fruit, in the shape of rights, accrues to
you! How can a child exist without the mother?
So also, when you perform your duties sincerely,
the result of that action comes as rights. When
you enquire into the fact whether rain comes first
or the flow of water, it becomes clear that flow of
rainwater follows rain. Without rain, there cannot
be a flow. The flow can be compared to one's
'rights' and rain to 'duty'. Therefore accord your
highest priority to your duties!
Doing one's duty selflessly is the highest spiritual
endeavour. - Baba
is selling a vehicle by Tender
PCT 429, right hand drive, year 2011,
black, 45,000 km, optimal condition,
VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT.
Bids under $ 416,000 will not be taken
Closing date: 5 December 2014 at
Bids must be submitted in sealed
envelopes addressed to:
"Bid for BMW"
PO Box 828, 19 St. Clair Avenue,
...as Plum Mitan farms under water
waterlogged field of pumpkins valued
thousands of dollars. Meanwhile,
Farmer Bhim Rampaul said farmers
collected flood relief for lands that
were not even under cultivation.
"Some farmers were even paid two
and three times for the loss of one
crop," Rampaul said.
Still counting the losses at his five-
acre plantain field, Primdial Ramtahal
said Christmas looked bleak for the
entire farming community.
'Disrespect to farmers'
Cucumber farmers Bisoondaye
George and Sarindar Saroop, who esti-
mated their losses at $400,000, took
jabs at Food Production Minister
Devant Maharaj for failing to visit the
flood prone district.
A cucumber field
flooding at Plum
National Foodcrop Farmers' Association respond
President of the Plum Mitan/Biche Farmers' Association
Continues on Page A9
President of the National Foodcrop Farmers'
Association (NFFA) Terrence Haywood said he often
wondered when the Government would get things right
with the agriculture sector.
"Farmers are not a priority in this country. They are
disrespected and disregarded." Haywood said for years
the NFFA have been urging past and present
governments to diversify the economy from oil and gas
and focus on building the agriculture sector to save the
country from an economic collapse.
"Now that oil prices are plummeting and the country
stand to lose millions or even billions of dollars in
revenue in 2015, the Government still will not learn from
their past mistakes. Let them reap what they sow."
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