Farmer turned away while going to market, says Minister
Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat, said a farmer who was heading to market was made to turn away by police officers.
In a social media update on Wednesday, Rambharat said that the matter has since been resolved and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Force has been advised to allow farmers to the market with their produce.
He said the farmer was stopped and turned back in Flanagin Town.
"TTPS and Farmers: With the new COVID-19 Regulations coming in yesterday and the increase law enforcement presence, one farmer reported being stopped and turned back in Flanagin Town at 1:45 am today, en route to Namdevco’s Norris Deonarine Northern Wholesale Market in Macoya."
He said the matter was referred to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.
"This was referred to the Commissioner of Police and the TTPS officers have been briefed on dealing with bona-fide farmers and others involved in agriculture."
Rambharat said as there may be other cases, he has asked any other farmers who were prevented from going to market to contact him.
"Any bona fide farmer or person involved in agriculture who encounters a problem with law enforcement while having a legitimate reason to be on the road or otherwise at work, please use the various ways of getting a message to me."
Government has clarified that fishermen and farmers are allowed to operate as they are listed as essential services.
Non-essential services have been banne until April 30, 2020, according to recent COVID-19 regulations.