The Ministry of Trade and Industry says the government has made $5 million TT dollars available to local steelpan manufacturers and tuners to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the industry.

It explains that the Steelpan Manufacturing Grant Fund Facility will provide financial support for the acquisition of new machinery, equipment, software, tools, raw material and training.

In a media release, the Ministry said the fund, which will be made available in tranches of up to $250,000, not exceeding $1million dollars per entity will be administered by the MIC Institute of Technology given its expertise in the implementation of technical and vocational training in Steelpan manufacturing.

The Ministry said among the products manufactured locally are traditional steelpans, miniature pans, G-Pans, PHI-Pans, souvenirs and accessories such as stands, sticks, cases and teaching materials for local and international markets. 

Chairman of MIC Institute of Technology, Professor Clement Imbert, speaking at a news briefing to launch the facility, highlighted that the aging population of tuners continues to be a concern. 

He stated that MIC-IT has strategically intervened over the years to lift the range and quality of skills of those operating within the sector through advanced training