Major Setback for Agriculture in St. Mary


Damage done to the agricultural sector in St. Mary by Hurricane Ivan has been estimated at $700,000,000.00 by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Acting RADA Parish Manager for St. Mary, Crawford Clarke told JIS News that the estimate was a reflection of the extensive damage done to the industry in all four extension areas of the parish.He pointed out that the estimate would be submitted soon to the RADA Head Office in Kingston, from where appropriate action would be taken.
Mr. Clarke noted that over 1,000 hectares of cultivation and 800 heads of livestock were destroyed by the passage of the hurricane, with the crops most affected being banana, fruit trees, pulses, vegetables, condiments, plantain and ground provisions.
He said RADA was currently in the process of registering affected farmers to provide them with assistance in their effort to rehabilitate their farms, adding that extension officers would be providing the technical assistance necessary for the resuscitation of the crops, which were destroyed.
Mr. Clarke said farmers would be encouraged to cultivate short term crops, such as sweet potato, pak choi, callaloo and corn, until their farms were back in full production.
He explained that RADA has already commenced assisting the farmers by distributing seeds for the various crops, which have been donated by Food For the Poor.
Mr. Clarke said he was confident that the resilience of the farmers would enable them to put back agricultural production in St. Mary on a firm footing within a short time.

JIS Social