Trinidad and Tobago yesterday committed to revisit restrictions, which have affected some agro-products, including honey, being trans-shipped through the Twin-Island Republic.
The issue was raised yesterday during a meeting at State House between high-level delegations that included President David Granger and Trinidad’s Prime Minster, Dr. Keith Rowley.
“I thought that was a Grenada issue, but I didn’t realise it was a Guyana issue as well,” Dr. Rowley told reporters after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation.
Rowley indicated that the issue was raised by Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge.
“Once we are satisfied that there are no phytosanitary risks that we should not ignore we will look at it with an eye to furthering the business of Guyana without risking the biodiversity of Trinidad and Tobago, but with that being said, we will be guided by the technical outcome,” Rowley committed.
Back in February 2015, Trinidad and Tobago customs seized a quantity of honey and fined Laparkan US$3,000 because it facilitated a shipment of honey within one mile of Trinidad and Tobago’s shores. This violated a 1935 Act.
Grenada has filed a formal complaint through the CARICOM Community (CARICOM) Ministerial Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).
Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat who was part of the visiting delegation said that honey is a particularly sensitive area.
“One of the reasons why we have been very slow in allowing honey from outside of Trinidad is that so far Trinidad has been able to maintain its honey disease free status,” Rambharat explained to reporters.
In relation to the complaint by Grenada, Rambharat stated that the law is specific in terms of in-transit shipment and honey landing in and remaining in Trinidad.
“We’ve committed to have another look at the law to see if we can create that environment to see if we could allow that in-transit once it doesn’t stay in the country and it is something that we have to look at.
Also to see the risk of it being trans-shipped as opposed to staying in Trinidad. I am not afraid to say that we are very defensive in honey because we have a strong sector,” Rambharat stated.
He stated that they continue to work with the Institute of International Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) while conducting surveys of producers across Guyana, Grenada and Trinidad.
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