The year is once again coming to an end and I’m sure that we can all agree that 2019 brought many challenges.
Rising food prices, fuel shortages and rising crime levels were some of the major issues that defined 2019. It is only by God’s grace we managed to remain calm and face our adversities.
There were many different topics I wanted to write about for my final column for 2019, but I felt the need to remind and encourage everyone of diversifying into agriculture for 2020.
There are many advantages in agriculture: you’re able to provide work for yourself; have flexibility in your working hours; provide employment for others; you can provide food for your families; and contribute to the nation’s food security.
There are many branches of agriculture to choose from: Traditional Crop Production, Hydroponics, Aquaponics, Horticulture, Livestock, Aquaculture, Poultry, Apiculture, Forestry and Landscaping, Small ruminants (goat and sheep) rearing and rabbit rearing.
The average cost of fresh produce to feed a family of four is about $200 per week or more. Even if you are not planning to be a commercial Agripreneur, small scale backyard farming will enable you to feed your family for less. Start with a small Grow Box filled with your favourite vegetables and herbs.
The impacts of Climate Change will have a direct negative impact on agriculture. The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service states that we are still in the Wet Season and flash flood risk remains in effect until January.
Conditions predicted for the 2020 Dry Season, expected to start in late February, will have above normal rainfall until May. However, it will not be enough to return water reservoir levels to their seasonal averages.
With these fluctuations, water shortages and flooding will lead to many challenges in crop production. We need to protect ourselves from rising food prices and I’m very sure 2020 will be the year food prices increase exponentially.
As 2020 unfolds, let’s all be advocates for agriculture and ensure that we can build dynamic, diversified and resilient food systems.
I wish all my loyal ‘Green Thumb’ readers a Happy 2020. I wish you a new year filled with prosperity, joy, contentment and the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
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