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More than 50 per cent of the 9,000 registered farmers in the parish of Hanover suffered losses as a result of Hurricane Ivan last year, but with assistance from government and international donor agencies, they are beginning to replant, with production of some crops back to pre-Ivan levels.
“I must commend the farmers of Hanover, who are doing their best to make a comeback in terms of agricultural production”, said Bernard Geoff, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) parish manager, in his report to the Hanover Parish Council on Thursday (Feb.10).
He said that cash crops such as tomatoes and cabbage were now in abundant supply in the parish.
The RADA parish manager informed that to date, approximately 1,553 of the 5,000 hurricane-affected farmers have received cash vouchers valued at $5,000 each from the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR), to purchase farm inputs.
In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has donated vegetable seeds and approximately 230 bags of fertilizer.
Meanwhile, the Pimento Growers Association is carrying out a survey to determine the losses to pimento farmers within the parish, with a view to assisting them in the replanting process, Mr. Geoff said.
He however, highlighted the need for more assistance to the farmers of the parish, noting that over 3,000 farmers had still not received any help.