Trinidad’s Agri. Minister was unaware of DDL milk rejection – Mustapha

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Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha is among those looking into the rejection of two containers of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) packaged milk in Trinidad and Tobago.

When engaged on the matter on Wednesday, Mustapha said he sought clarity from his Trinidadian counterpart on Tuesday night but was told that the Trinidadian Minister was unaware of the issue.

“I spoke to him (and) when I spoke to him last night, he said he didn’t know about anything and he will try to get on back to me about that.

“I will speak to him about it today again,” Mustapha told reporters at the sidelines of an event held at his Regent Street, Georgetown office on Wednesday morning.

Senator Kazim Hosein is Trinidad and Tobago’s Agriculture Minister.

DDL Chairman Komal Samaroo on Tuesday flagged challenges relating to the export of the company’s products-packaged milk and bottled sparkling water- to Trinidad and Tobago.

“Regrettably the two containers of packaged milk products were denied entry and returned to Guyana, while the bottled water products have been restricted from sale pending the completion of an unconventionally exhaustive examination of these bottled water products,” Mr. Samaroo told reporters at a press conference.

According to Samaroo, those requirements are not in keeping with the thrust for greater intra-regional trade to meet the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) goal of slashing costly extra-regional food imports by 2025.

Hours after, Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said such actions cannot be accepted. It added that these actions run counter to the spirit of integration.

Minister Mustapha said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Guyana Livestock Development Agency (GLDA) remain in close contact with its counterparts in Trinidad and Tobago, the exporter and the importer to resolve this matter within the shortest possible time.

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