Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 13th 2013 Contents A21
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Extractive sector in focus at UWI conference
Government wants to boost local
freshwater fish production.
Incentives for the sector were recently
announced by Food Production Minister
Devant Maharaj when he visited the
Seafood Industry Development Company
Maharaj said 135 tonnes of tilapia is
consumed in this country annually but
only about 22 tonnes are produced in the
To boost production the ministry is
offering tilapia feed at cost price to pro-
ducers, the minister said.
He added that the programme, which
started last month, has already proved
Maharaj said T&T imports most of its
tilapia fillets from China and to compete
with that market, a fish processing facility
is planned for the Carlsen Field area.
In a bid to boost public awareness abut
the fish Maharaj said he spoke with officials
of the Sugar Cane Feeds Centre at Long-
denville to open its doors one week per
month to sell tilapia to the public. Maharaj
said 3000 cascadura fingerlings have been
imported for integration into local stocks
and fishing ponds at Bamboo Settlement
in the Grand Bazzar area will be upgraded
to serve as a fish hatcheries unit.
The minister also revealed that govern-
ment is considering a review the fisheries
bill which is closed to 100 years old and
contains archaic clauses.
On the issue of trawling, Maharaj said
if it was up to him no industrial or semi-
industrial trawling would be allowed since
those activities destroy fish stock and have
a negative environmental impact.Maharaj
said elements within the Movement for
Social Justice (MSJ) were using the issue
of the judicial complex at Carlsen Field
to claim that farmers are being displaced.
He said seven farmers were affected
and four of them have already accepted
compensation and cashed their cheques,
while the rest are in negotiations. Maharaj
said the role of SIDC is not to print cook-
books, or offer sanitation advice.
He said the agency must actively engage
and develop the fisheries sector.
Incentives to boost
Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj, centre, talks with Dr Doon Ramsaroop, left, CEO of the SIDC and Suresh Benny,
director, SFC. A B DA
KINGSTON, Jamaica---In releasing its stockholders report
for the period ending March 31, GraceKennedy Group
CEO Don Wehby has described the group s profit per-
formance as encouraging, particularly given the impact
of the recent National Debt Exchange (NDX) and Private
Debt Exchange (PDX).
Unaudited Group results show revenues for the period
increasing by $466.2 million, to $16,062.3 million, repre-
senting a three per cent increase over the corresponding
quarter in 2012. Net profit attributable to owners of the
company increased by $37.9 million or 5.8 per cent compared
to the corresponding period in 2012, moving from $651.8
million to $689.7 million.
Wehby noted that the income statement reflected a "one-
off" loss of $215.5 million representing the write-off of
unamortised premiums from instruments exchanged in the
An interim dividend of 70 cents per stock unit was paid
to stockholders on March 27, representing a 17 per cent
increase over the corresponding period in 2012.
The first quarter for GraceKennedy Foods was described
as a good one, with improved profit performance, as well
as benefits gained from marketing efforts which focused
on consumer acceptance in specific markets.
Wehby said the North American expansion plan continues
on target and additional listings had been gained in top
retail chains in the UK.
The focus on Dutch and German markets in Europe has
also begun to bear fruit, with improved distribution and
consumer access there.
The GraceKennedy Financial Group results were described
as satisfactory, considering the impact of the NDX and
PDX. First Global Bank performed well with bank loans
and deposits growing steadily. The money services segment
reported growth in revenues and pre-tax profits over the
corresponding period last year. It was reported that
GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) recently took over
the operations of Western Union in the British Virgin Islands.
GKMS also introduced Bill Express to the Eastern
Caribbean, starting with four locations in Antigua.
Jamaica International Insurance Company Ltd (JIIC),
faced with lower yields on GOJ investments, due to the
NDX, intensified its focus on operational efficiency and
offering exceptional customer solutions.
In contextualising the company s performance this quarter,
Wehby referred to the economic climate, stating that "the
recent approval of an IMF extended fund facility has given
some amount of confidence in the financial market. However
the real work is ahead of us in ensuring that we meet the
economic targets as set out in the IMF agreement".
He added that the company s participation in the NDX
and PDX was considered to be in the best long term interests
of shareholders, and the company looks forward to the
measures being put in place by the Government to foster
and enhance the development of the country.
Wehby thanked employees and directors for their dedicated
efforts in delivering the first quarter results. He also conveyed
gratitude to the company s consumers, customers, and sup-
pliers for their continued relationship and dedicated support.
"We look forward to the coming quarters with optimism
and remain guided by our values of honesty, integrity and
trust," he said.
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