Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 26th 2015 Contents A19
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Oil prices rebounded yesterday fol-
lowing reports on US gasoline and
distillates inventories which eclipsed
news that soaring crude reserves had
hit another record high last week.
The oil price of interest to T&T,
West Texas Intermediate (WTI), rose
US$1.71 to close at US$50.99 a barrel
in New York. Brent crude, a bench-
mark for international oils, rose
US$2.97 to close at US$61.63 in Lon-
The US government s Energy Infor-
mation Administration (EIA) said
crude inventories rose 8.4 million
barrels in the week to February 20 to a
record 434.1 million barrels---more
than double market expectations for a
Refined product inventories fell
with distillates at seasonal record low
levels, data from the EIA showed.
Crude inventories were double ex-
pectations for a 4 million-barrel rise
and were at their highest for the time
of year since records began 80 years
ago, the EIA said.
Inventories report triggers oil rebound
Central farmers no longer have to get
up at 3 am to go to Tunapuna or Port-of-
Spain to sell their produce.
From next week, the farmers will be
wholesaling their produce at their own
Central Farmers Wholesale Market at
Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas.
The newly-renovated 22,680 square feet
building which once housed the old rice
bond at the Woodford Lodge factory will
now accommodate about 1,000 farmers
from nine large farming areas in central,
Agriculture Minister Devant Maharaj said
in a feature address at the commissioning
of the market yesterday.
Farmers, Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul
Boodan, President of the Chaguanas Cham-
ber of Commerce Richie Sokhai and rep-
resentatives of the National Agricultural
Marketing and Development Corporation
(Namdevco) and others attended the event.
Maharaj said the Agriculture Ministry
chose to establish T&T s third wholesale
farmers market in Central because of
the hardship farmers endured going out
of the area to sell their produce.
"Finally, your struggle is over," he told
The market will be fully functional by
next week and will open for two or three
days, with a large parking space and onsite
Maharaj said pack houses for storing
food are also to be constructed in six to
eight weeks in Brechin Castle and Brickfield
in Tabaquite. Other major agricultural infra-
structure projects are earmarked for Felicity
and different areas in Central, he said.
Maharaj commended Namdevco for the
good job it has been doing in agriculture,
noting the entity was starved for funds and
emasculated under previous administra-
He said $1/4 billion was pumped into an
organisation called the Trinidad Agri-Busi-
ness Association and nothing has been
shown for this.
The minister said because of Namdevco s
introduction of local produce in the national
school feeding programme, farmers have
been able to double or triple local food
input over the last four years.
Last month, Namdevco launched a cas-
sava muffin in the programme and Irish
potatoes are being replaced with green paw
Maharaj said Central Bank statistics show
the agricultural sector, for the first time in
40 years, saw five consecutive quarters of
growth from 2012 to 2013. For the first time
in 21 years inflation also remained in single
digits for the first six months of 2013.
Asked by the T&T Guardian about the
law mandating farmers to get a license to
draw water for their crops from rivers and
streams, he said that was a legal matter
under the Ministry of the Environment
and Water Resources.
Maharaj said he will not encourage any-
one to break the law and said the Envi-
ronment Ministry is seeking to conserve
Sookhai, in his address, said it was an
exciting day for Chaguanas, as the old rice
bond at Woodford Lodge will no longer be
a dinosaur but an economic hub.
He said when Caroni Ltd was shut down
in 2003 everyone thought Chaguanas would
have dried up.
"Out of the ashes of Caroni Ltd grew
Chaguanas," he said.
One common plat-
form for informa-
and technology (ICT)
across the Caribbean
is high on the agenda
of today s interses-
sional meeting of
Caricom Heads in
This was confirmed
by Science and Tech-
nology Minister Dr
Rupert Griffith who
delivered the feature address at yesterday s inau-
gural meeting of T&T s Leadership Advisory
Council at Fiesta Plaza, Movie Town.
Asked whether there is political will to achieve
a single ICT platform in the region, Griffith said:
"There is a lot of collaboration going on with
many Caribbean countries with T&T providing
the leadership. We have already taken the initia-
tive---the International Exchange Protocols which
will allow us to transfer high speed data among
the Caribbean, without having to go up to North
America which is normally done right now. It is
cost effective, it is going to be faster and it will
be very much cheaper to use."
Griffith said with updated ICT there must be
the legislative framework in place to guide its
"There are several---Cloud technology legislation,
Cyber crime Act, we are revising the Telecoms
Act 2002, we are looking at the broadcasting code,
electronic payments and several other pieces of
enabling legislation that will enable the technology
initiatives that we are making."
The minister also gave an update on the intro-
duction of ICT into services provided by the public
"One of the things we are working on right
now is the electric payments among government
services, that s a big one. We are hoping by early
next year, we will have electronic e-payments on
stream with the intended legislation and all of
the procedures in place," he said
opens in Chaguanas
Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan, left, and Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj, shake hands after unveiling a plaque at the
opening of the new Namdevco Central Wholesale Market at Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas, yesterday. PHOTO: VINDRA GOPAUL-BOODAN
Asked whether any decisions have been on the
awarding of a license for a new mobile provider,
Griffth said: "That matter is before the Science
and Technology Minister right now for
The first proposal was submitted in November
last year, but there were a lot of clarifications
the ministry needed before we make a decision.
The request we made for additional information
came in last week so it is now with us for
UPDATE ON THIRD MOBILE PROVIDER
Dr Rupert Griffith
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