JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will be facilitating the importation of specific agricultural produce to fill consumer needs, as a result of damage to crops due to heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole.
Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry’s Old Hope Road headquarters in St. Andrew, on October 6, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton said this will ensure that there are no prolonged shortages or price gouging within the sector.
“We will be engaging the necessary stakeholders, including importers of agricultural produce, to ensure that while we work to get our farmers back up and running as quickly as possible, we also make provisions for the importation of those items that our consumers cannot do without, because of their taste or their business operations,” he explained.
Preliminary figures indicate more than $1 billion in damage to the agricultural sector from the heavy rainfall.
Dr. Tufton said the Ministry realises that based on the impact of the tropical storm, there will be shortages in specific crops.
“In certain crop areas, we expect and will be liberal in our approach to allow the necessary importation of those crops to allow our consumers to be able to afford them in the first instance, because we don’t want price gouging, and in the second instance, to allow them to carry out their normal course of business,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that the farmers will be provided with the necessary technical support, particularly through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), “so that they can get back up and running as quickly as possible.”
The crops that were most severely affected included cantaloupe, melon, cabbage, lettuce, tomato and sweet pepper.

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