Tobago agriculturalists whose plants are affected by disease will soon have the services of “plant doctors”.
Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment Assemblyman Godwin Adams disclosed on Wednesday that his Division was collaborating with the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience Institute (CABI) to establish plant clinics in Tobago.
He said over the years farmers have been clamouring for assistance in determining the various diseases that affected their plants. He said the clinics will operate as the focal point for farmers to bring their “sick” plants to be diagnosed. He said the data collected will be used to advise the farmers on the treatment to be given to their plants.
Adams said the plant clinics will be launched later this month and he considered it a worthy move that would provide some help to the farmers resulting in greater productivity of their fields.
He said the technicians employed at the clinics were considered “plant doctors” because they would be in fact doctoring the plants to give them and the farmers a chance of survival.
The Agriculture Secretary also disclosed that as a result of the 2014 budget shortfall work cannot begin on the new Scarborough Market at Shaw Park. As a result, he said, minor repairs will be carried out at the old market. The first phase of the repairs would include the washroom facilities and ramps for the physically challenged.
In addition, he said, new fishing facilities will be commissioned at Lambeau on November 19 and at Argyle on November 21.
He said the Assembly was about to commission a study on the wildlife population in the island by the University of the West Indies (UWI). He said study should take 24 months and would provide empirical data for appropriate action. He said the two-year ban on hunting imposed by the government was done without data.