In January of this year Caroni Green Limited (CGL) CEO Sharma Lalla stated that weekly sales are at $20,000 US and he boasted that the state-run company CGL exported $100,000 US worth of hot peppers to the States in the last quarter of 2015. He noted then that competition from rival Caribbean countries Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic as they export millions in pepper mash to the US.
Mr. Lalla indicated that foreign exchange could be saved once local production is ‘ramped up’. He wants to position CGL as the #1 generator of foreign exchange in the agricultural sector. He aims to encourage local producers to get on board with exporting through the use of company enterprise.
Partnerships have already been formed with the National Agricultural Marketing Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO) for certification of CGL’s farms as well as PCS Nitrogen Model Farm for training of farmers to ensure crop production complies with international standards. Projected earnings for the company can only be earned if CGL is given more land to produce a greater quantity of pepper at approximately US$400 million in foreign exchange.
Recently, the Minister Clarence Rambharat stated that hot peppers produced in Trinidad and Tobago can hold its own on the international export market because when the Dominican Republic was affected by pests and diseases which made it difficult to market its product, Caroni Green Limited stepped up.
Minister Rambharat in his statement said, “The important step now is to push for value added through processing, packaging and cold storage and putting produce on the shelves and through the farmers markets and through the interaction with supermarket associations and other aspects of retail trade that is where we are going to put up the fight against imported products….its works that needs to be done.”
There are plans to rapidly expand hot pepper cultivation by engaging local farmers to become the primary producers, the company has remarked that it will continue its developmental role of establishing a wider range of agricultural produce. As well as pushing by the government for the export of all primary producers especially to fill the demand on West Indian communities in North America.