Former Agricultural and Fisheries Senator in the Upper House of Parliament, Keith Clouden has decided not to seek re-election to the Senate after having served three (3) consecutive terms between 2003-18, a total of fifteen (15) years.
The veteran farmer, in preparing for his departure from the Senate, as early as December, 2017 wrote to the Clerk of Parliament advising him of his intention not to contest the position to represent the farmers at this level following the dissolution of Parliament.
He actually started to reconsider the position as a result of tremendous demands from the farming and fishing communities.
However, Clouden said that after deep reflection and personal conviction, “he has returned to his former decision not to put himself for election, as he seeks to give more attention to his agri-business and family”.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the former head of a non-governmental organisation has expressed interest in replacing Clouden as the farmers’ representative in the Upper House.
According to Clouden, he is satisfied that he has provided “adequate representation for the farming and fishing communities over the last fifteen (15) years, having advocated the issue and challenges facing the sectors on several fronts, capitalised on opportunities for their benefit and putting forward several proposals for the advancement of the sectors, amidst several obstacles and bottlenecks along the way.
“This has earned him the confidence and admiration of his farming colleagues for which he is humbled. He is honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve the Agricultural Sector and the nation as a whole in that capacity over the years”, he said in a release.
Clouden will be remembered for his advocacy and contribution in the following areas:
*Democratisation of the process for selection of the Agricultural Senator to the Upper House.
*Recommendation for the establishment of the Praedial larceny Squad
* Lobbying for the stationing of Praedial Larceny Officers at the Port of Entry in Grenville and St George’s.
*Bringing together stakeholders for dialogue regarding Crop Insurance
*Getting government to allocate funds in the 2014 and 2015 Budget for establishing Crop Insurance
*Highlighting the need for a well equipped and functioning Farm Machinery Pool and decentralisation of farm machinery in the four (4) Agricultural Districts
*Sensitising government for re-establishment of the National Fisheries Training School
*Removal of the restriction on the entry of Grenada’s honey into Trinidad, which is being addressed at the CARICOM level
*Liberalisation of the American Feed Market
*Assistance to farmers and Fishing organisations in procuring technical, material and financial resources etc.
*Procurement of funding from Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership for LaSagesse Flood Mitigation Project
*Bringing together and encouraging dialogue between farmers organisations and development agencies on areas of assistance
Clouden said that he would like to wish all the Agricultural and Fishing organisations and other individuals who have collaborated with him in realising the many gains achieved for the Sector over the years and has pledged to remain active in ensuring that agriculture becomes more viable and sustainable.
He also extended best wishes to his successor in efforts to continue the advancement of the Sector.