JIS News

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), have provided a $7.29 million grant for farmers in the parishes of St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland and Hanover, who were worst affected by Hurricane Ivan.
Under the initiative, farmers will receive assistance with seedlings, fingerlings, irrigation equipment, farm tools and supplies, materials for construction and machine rental.
According to information contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives by Prime Minister P.J Patterson on Tuesday (Nov. 23), under the USAID component, farmers involved in vegetable and spice production would be eligible for inputs up to a maximum of $15,000, and given the type and magnitude of losses suffered, aquaculture farmers would receive up to a maximum of $75,000. The Bodles Agricultural Research Station and the Aquaculture Branch will be repaired from a $500,000 grant from the IICA.
Meanwhile, the restoration of the export subsector is being pursued through a combination of initiatives including crop insurance and the provision of loans. So far, the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) has received commitments of over $160 million for the agriculture and fishery sectors.
The ONR has, in the meantime, commenced distribution of grants totaling $300 million to farmers who sustained damage to crops, livestock and infrastructure during Hurricane Ivan.Total damage to the productive sector, which comprises agriculture, livestock, food processing, mining and tourism stands at $13.375 billion.

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