Agriculture

Locusts ravage South farmlands

Locusts have descended on farms in the southwest peninsula, ravaging crops and vegetation.

The worst hit areas include Bowen Trace, Chatham and Austin South Trace.

Teams from the Ministry of Agriculture have been taking photographs and reports of the damage. However, sources say the lone crop dusting tractor is down so spraying of the insects is not possible.

Farmers chop down 300 acres of forest reserve

Pineap­ple farm­ers who have chopped down more than 300 acres of for­est re­serve in Table­land are ex­pect­ed to be charged by the po­lice fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Clarence Ramb­harat con­firmed yes­ter­day.

Ramb­harat him­self has al­so launched a probe in­to “the com­plete fail­ure of the Forestry Di­vi­sion to com­bat squat­ting in the for­est re­serves.”

In an in­ter­view with the T&T Guardian, Ramb­harat said he was ap­palled at the for­est de­struc­tion.

Rains hamper spraying of locusts

Heavy rains put a damper on spray­ing op­er­a­tions at agri­cul­tur­al es­tates near Bun­see Trace, Pe­nal on Tues­day as farm­ers con­tin­ue to grap­ple with crop loss­es from an in­fes­ta­tion of lo­custs.

The lo­custs, which are about a cen­time­tre in length, have been gob­bling fields of cas­sa­va, peas, ochroes and bo­di near the forests of Morne Di­a­blo.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Clarence Ramb­harat said spray­ing start­ed since Sun­day.

How­ev­er, res­i­dents of Pe­nal Rock said not all the ar­eas are be­ing cov­ered.

Terry's big pumpkin

Chairman of the Toco/Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Terry Rondon says he has reaped a pumpkin weighing more than 100 pounds from his garden at Toco.

Rondon brought the pumpkin to share with his local government colleagues during a consultation with Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein, held at the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation.

In a brief interview, Rondon said he got the seeds and decided to plant them.

Locusts invade Penal farms

Ex­ten­sive spray­ing has start­ed in a bid to erad­i­cate swarms of lo­custs which have al­ready de­stroyed sev­er­al acres of crops at Mendez Vil­lage, Pe­nal.

Res­i­dent Hem­raj See­lal said the lo­custs have been feed­ing off trees in the forests since Jan­u­ary but over the past month, they have start­ed de­stroy­ing fields of peas, cas­sa­va, ochroes and bo­di.

“They eat­ing up the ochro trees. We are fac­ing a lot of loss­es right now,” See­lal said on Mon­day.

Devastated by August earthquake, Los Iros farmers still waiting for help

Six months af­ter the Au­gust earth­quake ripped apart 50 acres of prime agri­cul­tur­al lands in Los Iros, farm­ers say they have re­ceived no as­sis­tance from the Gov­ern­ment.

Dur­ing a protest at Roy­al En­gi­neer (RE) Road, Erin, farm­ers showed off fields of parched crops.

Pres­i­dent of the Los Iros Hillview Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Reshi­anand Ram­raj said the fields of pro­duce with­ered be­cause most of the ma­jor ponds in the area had dried up. More than 20 ir­ri­ga­tion ponds were dam­aged by the 6.9 mag­ni­tude earth­quake.

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