A total of 240 small farmers in eastern parishes are to benefit from loans this fiscal year to enhance agricultural production.
These include some 80 banana and plantain farmers and 160 vegetable, Irish potato and onion farmers.
The provision comes under the Agricultural Support Project, for which some $57 million has been set aside in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
The project, funded by Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), aims to provide support to the agricultural sector by fostering an increase in small farm agricultural production.
Specifically, it seeks to provide access to credit by small farmers and small-scale agricultural entrepreneurs, in order to increase agricultural production and competitiveness, so as to enhance economic growth.
Since the inception of the programme in 2009, 498 loans have been approved for on-lending to pig, poultry, Irish potato, greenhouse, and vegetable farmers.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter