The Fishing Pond Farmers Association was formed in 2010 with the aim of advancing agriculture to create sustainable livelihoods for farmers in its community and to contribute to the goal of national self-sufficiency in food. The Association’s jurisdiction extends from Non-Pareil to Caigual Road in north-east Trinidad
In pursuit of its objectives the Association has identified the construction of access roads and improvement of main roads into Fishing Pond as key to reducing operational costs and getting their produce to market.
The Association places a high priority on youth involvement in agriculture as an avenue for creating sustainable and independent livelihoods for the next generation of farmers. It also seeks to create linkages between agriculture and eco-tourism potential of Fishing Pond which is located between the North Oropouche River and the east coast of Trinidad. In this regard the Association has been lobbying for the renovation of the Boardwalk which had been out of commission for years. If rebuilt, the Boardwalk will provide easy access to the Fishing Pond Beach, one of the country’s best kept secrets. Without it, getting to the beach involves a trip by boat through the more challenging but scenic route along the river and a nature trail with many steep hills.
The Association believes that improving the roads into Fishing Pond and bringing the Boardwalk back into operation offer are both critical to the development of the community’s eco-tourism potential for creating jobs consistent with the needs of farming and the natural environment.
A perennial challenge for the Fishing Pond Farmers Association is the problem of flooding which cause massive crop destruction and damage to homes in almost every rainy season. The flooding is caused by an accumulation of silt at the river mouth which blocks the flow of the rain water coming down from the Northern Range and prevents its release into the sea. Year after year, Fishing Pond farmers experience the pain of watching their crops submerged under floodwaters and count the loss of their investment in hard work, money, time and energy.
Land security is another issue that the Fishing Pond Association has taken up on behalf of its members, many of whom have been cultivating these lands for years without legal title. This effort has been hampered by the authorities’ non-distribution of farmers’ IDs which leaves farmers insecure and unmotivated to stay in agriculture.
The Fishing Pond Farmers Association is committed to addressing these issues to give their members a more productive, rewarding and secure future.