Registered Farmers to Get Assistance

Registered farmers who were affected by heavy rains between May 4 and 7 will receive assistance through funds allocated to Members of Parliament.

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, informed the House today (May 15) that through collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), “each rural constituency will be given $1 million, while urban constituencies will receive $600,000”.

It is reported that 1,192 farmers were affected during the period of rainfall, with losses estimated at $76 million.

The Minister also committed the provision of chemicals, particularly to farmers of Irish potatoes, to help “stave off the leaf blight disease that has arisen”

“We are particularly sensitive to the onset of fungal and bacterial diseases, especially in relation to Irish potatoes that the country has made steady progress in producing, with over 90 per cent self-sufficiency last year,” he said.

Mr. Shaw reported that during the period of rainfall, 10 parishes were affected by landslides and flooding, including St. Andrew, Clarendon, St. Ann, St. Catherine, St. Thomas, St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Westmoreland.

The Minister said that the damage was not as devastating as the $800-million loss during the same period last year, or even the $300 million in losses that were incurred in November and December 2017.

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