Farmers in Amity Hall, St. Catherine are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping for the best, as heavy rainfall caused by Tropical Storm Nicole, has left their crops inundated.
The Amity Hall property, which covers approximately 3,000 acres of land, is home to a number of farming enterprises, including approximately 500 acres dedicated to the production of the Prosequisa IV variety of rice from the Dominican Republic.
Flood waters cover the Amity Hall Project area in St. Catherine. The project, which covers approximately 3,000 acres of land, is home to a number of farming enterprises, including approximately 500 acres dedicated to the production of the Prosequisa IV variety of rice from the Dominican Republic.
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, who toured the area, on (September 29), said he was unable to place a dollar figure on the losses at this time, but said the damage could be significant.
“We have a lot of flooding, not much wind damage, but clearly the fields are very water logged and it is going to create a setback for the farmers, many of whom are actually planting now or have just planted,” he told JIS News.
“I am told by the experts that there would have to be some run off, and that may take a week or two, depending on how much rain we get during that period of time,” the Minister said.
Dr. Tufton said the Ministry would continue to assess the situation and provide whatever assistance is required, technical or otherwise.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton (right) and Permanent Secretary in Ministry, Donovan Stanberry (left), lead representatives from the Ministry as they wade through flood waters on a tour of the Amity Hall farm project in St. Catherine on September 29.
“This area is crucial to the production and productivity improvements that we are seeking to gain in a number of critical crop areas,” he noted.
Investment Officer, Agro Invest, Donovan Walker said he expects that the hot pepper production will be the most affected. In addition to rice, the farmers also produce vegetables, tubers and condiments, he informed.
“I can’t estimate the loss yet, as we will have to look at the last three or four weeks reaping, then get an average of that to see what was the expected yield this week,” Mr. Walker said.