A fortnight ago, Trinidad and Tobago was severely affected by heavy rainfall initiated by an ITCZ which resulted in heavy flooding. Properties, personal belongings and vehicles were destroyed. However, we saw an overwhelming positive response from citizens where communities came together providing support and comfort for each other.
Our farmers also suffered a great loss. In my recent discussions with members of the farming community, acres of crops ready for harvest were lost; livestock was swept away with the strong currents; and poultry farmers were left with thousands of dead carcasses after the floods subsided.
Apart from loss of livelihood, the challenges that these farmers will continue to experience include waterlogged and nutrient-deficient soils, eroded soils, an increase in pest and diseases harmful to plants, animals and humans, extensive clean up and the added cost of attaining new equipment.