JIS News

Farmers in St. Catherine, who suffered losses as result of Hurricane Dean, will be provided with fertilizer to bring their farms back to productivity.
Branch Manager for the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s (JAS) St. Catherine office, Janet Pullen, told JIS News that the distribution of fertilizer will be monitored by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the JAS.
” I want it to be very clear to the farmers of St. Catherine that it [fertilizer] is not for every farmer, who has lost everything; the fertilizer is for farmers, who have crops in the field and need resuscitation so that we can bring the farms back as soon as possible,” she informed.
The Branch Manager noted that other farmers, who have sustained losses, may be eligible for other assistance depending on their specific needs and the damage to their production. “We need farmers to understand that it is a strategic and deliberate attempt to ensure transparency and to ensure that the right people get the right assistance at the right time,” Mrs. Pullen explained.
She noted that an assessment of the damage to the sector, which was completed over the weekend, found that between 85 and 90 per cent of the parish’s agricultural production was lost as a result of Hurricane Dean.
She said that every area of the sector has been affected. “From the small poultry farmers to the very large ones have been affected. small poultry farmers are totally wiped out, the fruit crops are gone as well as small livestock including goats, pigs. Everything has been affected and this varies in different areas,” Mrs. Pullen stated.
The Branch Manager noted that while the damage has been extensive, the farmers will recuperate and begin the replanting process soon.
“The resilience of the Jamaican farmers mesmerizes a lot of people.they are downhearted, but they will pick up the pieces and they will move forward again,” she pointed out.
The parish of St. Catherine has a diverse agricultural offering that ranges from citrus production in the North to aquaculture in the southern regions.

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