JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Victor Cummings has informed that an assessment of the damage done to the island’s fishing villages by Hurricane Dean, should have been completed on Monday (Aug. 27). He made this announcement while addressing a meeting with the ministers fraternal regarding the distribution of relief supplies, held yesterday at Eden Gardens.
Mr. Cummings also noted that $10 million has been allocated through the Production and Incentive Fund to assist fishermen who were affected by the hurricane.
“We have registration for the farmers and for the fishermen. For the fishermen the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has been out there dealing with the registration of those who had damaged,” he said.
The State Minister also announced that 700 tonnes of fertilizer has been sourced and “we will be working with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the Jamaica Agricultural Society in getting the fertilizer out to the farmers.”
He further informed that the Ministry will be disbursing more than $100 million in relief to farmers affected by the hurricane.
Approximately $90 million has been set aside for the purchase of fertilizer for farmers of domestic crops to purchase. In the area of greenhouse production, a $20 million grant fund has been set aside for farmers who have suffered severe damage.
“Our banana crop took a major beating. From what we understand about 95 per cent of the banana has been damaged. Ten million dollars is being provided by the Government for banana farmers producing for the local market,” Mr. Cummings said.
In addition $3 million has been allocated for fruit farmers to prune and rehabilitate fruit trees, while $7.5 million has been allocated for cocoa farmers who sustained losses.
The parishes that were worst affected agriculturally are: Portland, Clarendon, St. Thomas, Manchester, St. Catherine, and St. Elizabeth.

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