The Government has partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to continue supporting farmers through the Buy-Back Programme.
The initiative aims to purchase excess produce from farmers and assist those who are unable to sell excess produce due to the downturn in hotel operations caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe. The assistance programme also aims to redistribute the excess produce from farmers.
In a recent interview with JIS News, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, disclosed that $35 million was received from the FAO to carry on the programme.
Mr. Green added, too, that focus will be placed on farmers, particularly youth and women in the eastern parishes of the island.
“What we are doing now is based on the project we have formed with the FAO. We are going to target the eastern parishes, which is perfect, because they were not as hard hit by the recent rains, so they may have excess, and we are going to specifically target youth and women farmers to see if we can move their produce,” he told JIS News.
Mr. Green explained, too, that the Buy-Back Programme is being used to support children through an undertaking with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Buy-Back initiative commenced this year and forms part of the Government’s strategic programme of supporting farmers who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Through the programme, the Ministry has partnered with several organisations, including purveyors and distributors, as well as processors, to redistribute the supply.
The Ministry also arranged mobile farmers’ markets to sell the excess produce and coordinated the distribution of produce to quarantined communities for farmers who donated their excess supply.
The FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
Its goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With more than 194 member states, the FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.