JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture has earmarked $20 million in grant funding to help get farmers engaged in the use of greenhouse technology back on their feet, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Dean.
“This will be to a maximum of $800,000 per farmer and will be made on the condition that recipients observe the recommended criteria for reconstruction,” Agriculture Minister, Roger Clarke, told JIS News, after a tour of the greenhouse facility at Devon, Manchester on Tuesday (Aug. 28), which was severely damaged by Hurricane Dean.
He noted that ideally, “the Ministry recommends the double-sloped roof design with strongly reinforced steel frame, which will allow for easy removal of the roof and side panels in preparation for hurricane conditions.”
Minister Clarke, who handed over a cheque for $800,000 to the Christiana Potato Growers Association, to aid in the rehabilitation of the Devon facility, said it is critical that the use of greenhouse technology continue, as it is the future of the industry.
“The idea of protected agriculture has to catch on if we are to develop in the right way. I commend the Christiana Association for the fact that already, since the storm, they have restarted cultivation here at Devon at this facility,” he said.
In the meantime, Minister Clarke announced that the government has allocated $225 million in emergency assistance to the agriculture sector and the money will be disbursed as soon as the parish assessment of the overall damage is completed.
“Areas of focus include domestic food crops like vegetables, root crops, plantains, banana, fruit trees and cocoa, and we also have a significant amount of fertiliser for distribution,” he informed.

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