Clarke Discusses Help for Agricultural Sector


Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke, today met with stakeholders in the agricultural sector to discuss the impact of Hurricane Ivan, and to chart the way forward for the sector.
The meeting involved stakeholders from the Livestock, Sugar, Dairy, Citrus, Banana and Coffee industries, and representatives of Vegetable farmers. Other stakeholders included the Egg Farmers’ Association and Pig Farmers’ Association of Jamaica.
Minister Clarke said the meeting was convened to obtain a “very clear picture of what has happened in terms of damage and to get suggestions as to what we can do to put back the sector on its feet”.
“Regardless of limited resources, the government is not averse to do whatever it can, within those constraints, to help put back the sector on a sound footing,” he added.
The Minister emphasized that it was critical for the sector to be rehabilitated as quickly as possible, as it affected food security, import substitution, and persons in rural communities, especially those who rely heavily on farming.
The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) will be assisting in co-ordinating relief efforts for farmers across the island, which will involve the distribution of seeds and fertilizers. Tractors will also be made available for the ploughing of fields.
With regard to its rehabilitation programme, the Ministry will be targeting vegetable farmers in South St. Elizabeth and Douglas Castle in St. Ann, in the first instance.

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