Interview with RamgopaulRoop, C.E.O, RocropsAgrotec, Trinidad WI, Trinidad and Tobago Agribusiness Association (TTABA).
1. What is the vision and mission of your organisation?
To promote agricultural techniques and practices which are economically sound and environmentally friendlywhich is based on the objective to enhance domestic food production, the generation of agricultural activity of rural communities, sustainable management of land and water resources and the provision of national food security in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Region.Without good soil and water management, we would not be able to achieve sustainable development or reduce poverty.
RocropsAgrotec is a model smallholder farm and an agent of change which won the Agricultural Entrepreneurial Award, 2001 for sustainable agricultural development in Trinidad and Tobago. Rocrops is located at Uquire Road, Carlsen Field/Freeport Trinidad. The challenge in Trinidad and Tobago is to develop and implement measures to ensure sufficient water is available during the dry season and other periods of expected water shortage and to provide adequate drainage systems for excess water in the rainy season.
Hence Rocrops’ goal is to meet the challenges in soil and water management in the agricultural sector by the inclusion of management development plans for Storm-water, Sediment and Erosion, Wastewater Treatment, Water Quality (WQMP) and Quality Assurance (QAPP). Rocrops is also a focal point of farm visits by Students of agricultural studies.
Since 2008 Rocrops is being used by the Trinidad and Tobago Agribusiness Association (TTABA) as a demonstration unit for the development of over 21,000 hectares of former sugarcane lands.
2. Why did you decide to become a GWP Partner?
I was introduced to GWP by Avril Alexander, Regional Coordinator, Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C). Becoming a GWP Partner has opened a world of new opportunities for me. As a graduate in Agriculture with over 45 years experience as a Farmer, Agricultural Officer and Agricultural Consultant in the areas of Sustainable Agricultural Development and Management, I am totally committed to GWP’s vision of ‘a water secure world’ by the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources by maximizing economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital environmental systems.
3. What have you found to be the benefits of being a GWP Partner?
There are many benefits in being a Partner of GWP. Most importantly it gives me an opportunity to apply my lifelong work in soil and water management to contribute to the development of the concept of integrated water resources management at the local, regional and international level and to share experiences with Partners on a Global scale.Being a partner facilitates unlimited access to global information on every aspect of soil and water management through GWP and various Partner newsletters, etc.
At the GWP-C Regional level, I have established a working link with the Coordinating team in Trinidad and have opportunities to network with other partners in the region. The work of Rocrops in sustainable soil and water management has been shared across the network through the GWP-C monthly publications.
GWP-C facilitated my attendance of GWP 2011Consulting Partners Meeting in Sweden. At that meeting I established a network with many partners and international organizations.