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Diversify to agriculture  

Thousands worldwide work in agriculture for a living. Photo Source:

By now we are all aware that jobs in Trinidad and Tobago are very difficult to obtain. It is without doubt that we live in a period where both unemployment and underemployment is a harsh reality. Many ask themselves ‘What do I do now?’ or ‘How do I provide for my family?’.

I am here with an answer to these questions and it is diversification into agriculture. It is time that we release our reservations and embrace agriculture in which the advantages are limitless.

It gives you the opportunity to be entrepreneurs, have flexibility in your working hours and even provide employment for others. Being a farmer is a prestigious job. You have the opportunity to provide food for your families and contribute to your county’s food security.

There are so many branches of agriculture to choose from: traditional crop production, hydroponics, aquaponics, horticulture, livestock, aquaculture, poultry, apiculture, forestry and landscaping, small ruminant (goat and sheep) rearing and rabbit rearing.

When planning your start up, do not only limit yourself to local markets but expand to the Caribbean and to the rest of the world. We must also be resourceful and consider agro-processing: manufacturing other products such as dehydrated fruits and vegetables, canned items, preservatives, sauces (pepper, tamarind) to name a few.

For meats and dairy, we can create products such as fish sticks, local burger patties, meat kebabs, ice creams, cheeses, yoghurts and many more which can be packaged for local consumption and export. There is so much room for the branding of your products.

All industries face issues. In agriculture some of these include pests and diseases, severe weather patterns, larceny, and capturing your market. However, there are solutions for all of the above, and there are many organisations in Trinidad and Tobago which can assist you as a farmer to ensure that these issues are reduced and managed.

I encourage everyone, even if you are currently employed, to start your agricultural investment today. Even if it is backyard farming, start small and gradually increase your production. There is very little to lose and so much to gain from agriculture.

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