'I am no fan of the TTPS', says Minister

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat

While he is not advocating fast food, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat thinks KFC and Royal Castle are the way to go, if one wants some chicken.

Speaking in the budget debate in the House of Representatives yesterday, Rambharat said while Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar made “40 promises”, she never once spoke about the poultry industry in her presentation.

He said the protection of the poultry industry from imported chicken required a defence which the United National Congress (UNC) government failed to provide during its tenure in office. He said as a result the imported chicken gobbled up 20 per cent of the market because “successive governments failed to pay attention to food safety and failed to stand up to the United States”.

He said he dealt with the issue of imported chicken by establishing a requirement that chicken must not be 180 days older than the slaughter date. “Because you can bring chicken...frozen ten years ago in this country. You know I would not advocate for fast food- not coming after two speakers on the issue of health (Terrence Deyalsingh and Dr Tim Gopeesingh)—but I will tell you this, if I have to eat a piece of chicken in this country, I am going to KFC and Royal Castle. Because the chicken there is slaughtered and delivered on the same day and is locally processed chicken. I will not subject myself or anybody, to imported chicken that is stale and close to rotten. In the same way I wouldn’t subject someone to rotten wild meat,” he said.

He said he wanted to hear this kind of defence of the poultry industry, which is the biggest contribution to agricultural GDP. “I wanted to hear about the backbone of agriculture in this country” not “pie-in-the-sky organic sugar”.

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