Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 20th 2014 Contents A24
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 20, 2014
Businesses are still getting problems to
obtain foreign exchange, CEO of ADM Import
and Export Distributors Limited, Balliram
Maharaj said yesterday.
He is suggesting that the Central Bank move
toward a more flexible market clearing system
to boost confidence in the foreign exchange
supply because there are implications for the
country s credit rating.
Maharaj commended the Central Bank s
recent efforts at modifying the foreign exchange
allocation system, noting that since then three
of T&T s largest bank s have given assurances
that there will be no shortage of foreign
"I am encouraged by the recent moves by
the Central Bank and remain cautiously opti-
mistic that the recent adjustments would serve
to improve the tightness currently being expe-
rienced," he said.
"I would like to suggest that the business
community monitor the levels of foreign
exchange liquidity over the course of the next
three months for signs of improvement."
Maharaj said following a meeting convened
by the T&T Chamber on June 6, the Central
agreed to intervene and inject sufficient liquidity
into the foreign exchange system to meet the
He said: "Additionally, there was a commit-
ment by the Central Bank Governor to inject
US$30 million for foreign travel and university
However, he said, there are still signs that
the foreign exchange market is relatively tight.
Win with Local Fruits is the theme for
the National Fruit Festival 2014, organised
by the Tableland Pineapple Farmers Asso-
ciation (TPFA) which takes place from
today to Sunday at the Nu Image Simplex
Complex, New Grant, Princes Town.
The festival is one of the initiatives being
promoted by the TPFA identify and create
a food system that is safe and allows farmers
to meet the demand for local foods without
excessive Government regulation and expen-
The group is responsible for more than
80 per cent of pineapple production in T&T
and also produces papaya, cassava, mango,
pommecythere, plantain, hot pepper and
other fruits. The TPFA has been an advocate
for the development of the pineapple indus-
try and for increased consumption of fruits
The group said in a release: "Currently
production, sales, and consumption of locally
grown fruits are relatively low. In response,
an increase in public education and aware-
ness efforts targeting consumers is necessary
in order to bolster the fruit industry."
The TPFA said it is committed to sup-
porting local food production and educa-
tional opportunities for farmers and the
public in the areas of organic and sustainable
farming systems as well as in the adoption
and use of safe new, innovative and emerging
technologies in food and agriculture.
"We believe that public education and
awareness, especially for the nation s youth,
on the importance of consuming and sup-
porting local agricultural output is a useful
strategy. Farmers need assistance in expand-
ing their markets and marketing, and so,
food safety training and other issues should
become part of basic educational pro-
grammes in agriculture," the group said.
"Importantly, Government support should
be made available to private and non-profit
sectors to maintain and expand consumer
education on food safety, oversight for food
safety, and potential risks associated with
the manner in which food is processed before
sale. There is also the imperative to reduce
our TT$ 4 billion per year food import bill;
alternatively, to eat what we grow and grow
what we eat .
"Consumer education is a public good
that helps consumers make informed choices
about their food and nutrition intake."
The three-day festival will feature pre-
sentations from various farmers groups,
agro-processors, input suppliers and other
stakeholders, as well as educational booths
with information and literature about fruits
and extension agriculture.
There will also be sale and sampling of
food, fruits, vegetables, including an array
of plants, displays of rare and exotic fruits,
agricultural estate tours, and a play area for
children. A variety of competitions will be
held including most innovative fruit dish,
best fruit display, best chow, and best fruit
Fruit Festival starts today
Members of the TPFA, from left, Ramash Ramsumair, Doodnath Ramsumair, and Teeluck Rambharose speak with Trade Minister Vasant
Bharath at the opening of the first edition of the Fruit Festival in 2012.
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