Presentation of the 2019 budget—where Petrotrin matters are expected to figure significantly—is expected soon after the Fourth Session of the 11th Parliament opens next week Friday.
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High demand for T&T’s cocoa beans
Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon wants cocoa industry stakeholders to place more emphasis on developing a range of value added products.
In an interview at the Cocoa Food Festival hosted by the Montserrat Cocoa Farmers Association at the La Vega Estate, Gran Couva, on Sunday, she said there is more money to be made in creating value added products such as lotions, artisan chocolates and other products that use cocoa extracts.
Gopee-Scoon also said that Government is supporting efforts to help identify T&T’s cocoa beans globally as a product from a specialized region.
“As champagne is to the Champagne region of France, cocoa from this particular region would have a particular influence and of course the price would be influenced upwards,” she said.
The Minister added that $200,000 will be given to the Montserrat Cocoa Farmers Cooperative to purchase infrastructure and through the Ministry of Agriculture farmers using technology will be given a $100,000 grant.
Christopher Paul, President of the Montserrat Cocoa Farmers Cooperative Society Limited, said the the organisation is based in a part of the central range that comprises several villages, including Gran Couva, Mamoral, Tortuga, Brasso, Flanagin Town and Laceato.
He said the Monsterrat area produces fine flavoured cocoa and demand for T&T beans has outstripped supply by more than 100 per cent, with 95 per cent of local products exported to choclatiers in Europe, while the rest is used for artisan chocolate, drinking chocolate and cosmetics.
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