JIS News

Many farmers in Westmoreland who suffered losses due to Hurricanes Dennis and Emily on July 7 and July 16, respectively, are currently struggling to get their fields back into production.
Parish Manager for the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), in Westmoreland, Alva Clarke, told JIS News that vegetable farmers, particularly those in the Silver Springs, Shafton, New Works and Bogg areas of the eastern section of the parish, were the hardest hit.
“Several cases of land slippages in farming areas such as Jerusalem Mountain, St. Leonards, Seaford Town and Bethel Town, have greatly affected yam production as well as banana and plantain cultivations. The farmers in these areas felt the brunt of hurricane Emily, but notwithstanding, are making bold efforts toward recovery,” Mr. Clarke told JIS News.
He said that the devastation caused by the two hurricanes would impact negatively on the parish’s performance at the upcoming Denbigh Agricultural Show set for July 30 to August 1.
“I have been informed that the usual competition among parishes at the show this year has been suspended due to the serious effects that Hurricanes Dennis and Emily have had on the country’s agricultural sector. However, the parish of Westmoreland is planning to set up a good display in the parish pavilion. We cannot deny that there will be setbacks, in that the volume of produce that we would expect from farmers, would be drastically decreased. That won’t really stop Westmoreland, as we intend to make a good showing as champion exhibitor,” Mr. Clarke said.
He pointed out that assessments were being carried out across the parish, so that affected farmers could receive assistance to bring their farms back into full production.
“I believe that farmers are a special breed of people and they always bounce back from calamities, so I am confident that the farmers in the parish will continue to make the effort to produce and to produce well,” Mr. Clarke told JIS News.