Opposition MP: Fee changes by NAMDEVCO will lead to higher market prices

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Opposition MP: Fee changes by NAMDEVCO will lead to higher market prices

Couva North MP, Ravi Ratiram is strongly opposing the exorbitant fee hikes imposed on farmers and market vendors by NAMDEVCO.

In what he described as a complete display of disregard for the agricultural community, the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO) has decided to impose exorbitant fee increases for the Norris Deonarine Northern Wholesale Market, Macoya, scheduled for April 17, 2024.

Ratiram, who is the Opposition Shadow for Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, said these increases are not just steep; “they are a slap in the face to our vendors and a direct hit to every citizen’s pocket.”

He added: “It is a predatory move against our hardworking farmers and vendors, who are the pillars of our nation’s food security.”

“With fees doubling across the board, the relentless squeeze on our agricultural sector’s finances signals a distressing trend. The following fee increases are set to take effect:
● Monthly/Daily Vendor Pass: From $20.00 to a staggering $40.00
● Weekly Barrowmen Fee: From $50.00 to an unprecedented $100.00
● Vendor Replacement Pass Fee: From $100.00 to a punishing $200.00

MP Ratiram warns that these increases will inevitably lead to higher food prices for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. “This is a reckless decision that will ripple throughout our economy, punishing consumers and endangering our already PNM endangered national goal of food security,” he stated.

He is urging NAMDEVCO and the Ministry of Agriculture Land and Fisheries to immediately retract these fee changes.

“This is not the time for financial barriers; it is a time to foster an environment of support and growth for the agricultural sector,” he insists.

The MP is not just sounding the alarm; he is rallying the troops. “Stand with our farmers, and show NAMDEVCO that we will not tolerate these draconian fee increases. Our farmers don’t just ‘deserve better’—they have earned the right to a fair and just market system,” MP Ratiram proclaims.

MP Ratiram, is inviting stakeholders and the public to vehemently oppose the decision and to fight for an agricultural market that is equitable and nurturing for all, not just the PNM bureaucrats who are out of touch with the reality on the ground.