The sugarcane plantations dominated the economy in the 19th century gradually allowed for the cultivation of cacao. Chocolate became a high-priced, much sought-after commodity. The Colonial government opened land to settlers interested in establishing cacao estates.
Venezuelan farmers with experience in cacao cultivation were encouraged to settle in Trinidad and Tobago, where they provided much of the early labour in these estates.
After the slaves were freed, plantation owners were in need of new sources of labour. In 1839 the British government began a programme of recruiting Indian labourers in Calcutta.
There are two distinct types of agricultural operations,the large estate or plantation which is managed by a specialist and employs large numbers of laborers, and the small farm cultivated by the owner/tenant and family.
The small farms grow mainly for the home market.Crops include corn, rice, peas, beans, potatoes, other vegetables, and a wide variety of fruits.
Both cocoa and coffee have been described as sick industries due to inefficiency, crop disease, and uncertain world market conditions.
Some 90 acres (36 hectares) of ornamental flowers are also cultivated for export. Rice, citrus, corn, cassava, peanuts, and pigeon peas are now being grown to diversify agricultural output.
Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago, which was founded in 1839 the only national organisation represented farmers. Is managed by a committee comprising representatives of all spheres of Agriculture, Its mandate is not only as an advocacy body, but also to assist and encourage the development and advancement of all sectors of Agriculture.
CARDI Is a research and development unit. That has been working on hot peppers, small ruminants and organic agriculture. The hot peppers programme has focused on selecting and stabilising landraces, compiling production and marketing tech-packs. The small ruminants programme has concentrated on improvements in nutrition, health and breed as a means of contributing to the development of the regional small ruminant industry.
There has also been ongoing work in spearheading the development of organic agricultural systems. Recently, the research and development portfolio have expanded to include the validation and transfer of technologies for developing the sweet potato and cassava industries. The role of information services in the research and development processes is being emphasised by the Unit.
The first Agricultural Census was held in 1946 and was conducted as part of the Population carried out that year.
The second held in 1964/1965.
The third 14 to August 31, 1982.
The fourth was in 2004
The fifth census took place in 2014.