JIS News

Farmers island wide have been given until October 29 to file their reports regarding damages incurred as a result of Hurricane Ivan, at their Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) parish offices.
Executive Director of RADA, Albert Shand said the “assessment is still being undertaken in order to accommodate more farmers who suffered damage, but who still have not yet been assessed”. He emphasized, however, that “we are finishing the assessment this week”.
RADA has reported that more than 37,000 farmer assessment forms have been completed so far, and these have been sent to the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) for processing.
The Office of National Reconstruction (ONR), working in tandem with the EOJ, will be presenting the assessment forms to the Ministry of Finance, which will be responsible for preparing the vouchers for the farmers.
Mr. Shand told JIS News that farmers would be able to use the vouchers to purchase agricultural supplies at any farm store islandwide. He stressed however, that the vouchers could not be exchanged for cash.
Deputy Executive Director of RADA, Thomas Burton, said the level of assistance that farmers would receive, would depend on the level of damage sustained. He explained that the damage has been placed in four categories, ranging from category one (minimal damage) to category four (severe damage).
He told JIS News that the ONR has not yet confirmed the value that would be allotted to each category. The value attached to each category, he explained, would be based on the number of farmers assessed, which would ultimately affect the amount of money that could be allotted for each category.
The voucher system, a critical element in the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector, comes in light of the $220 million that was allotted to the sector by the Government.

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