Advertisement
JIS News

President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant will be touring the parishes of St. Elizabeth and Manchester on Wednesday (July 20), to view first-hand, the impact of Hurricane Emily on the farming communities in these parishes.Assessment of Emily’s impact, he said, will start in earnest tomorrow.Senator Grant told JIS News, that indications were that farmers in the south west, particularly in St. Elizabeth, may have sustained significant damage, but he remained confident that the sector would bounce back in as short a time as possible. He said the tour would help in determining what adjustments were to be made to existing assistance programmes for farmers.
The JAS President pointed out that in assessing the damage caused by Emily, one had to also consider the damage wreaked initially by the passage of Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis.
“Any sector that would have sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Ivan, [then] ten months after Hurricane Dennis, and one week after, Hurricane Emily, there’s no doubt that it’s really a . blow to the agriculture sector,” he observed.
He further added, “the reports that I am receiving so far is that the parish of St. Elizabeth came under, once again, some severe punishment as a result of rain and floods associated with Hurricane Emily.” The full extent of damage, he said, would be known once the assessment was completed.
The JAS President said he was confident that the Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke would be reporting to Cabinet on the full extent of the damage, once all the information had been submitted by the relevant government agencies.
“Coming out of that, I would anticipate that Cabinet would indicate through the Minister of Agriculture, what sort of support will be given in terms of the relief of the farmers’ plight,” he stated.
Turning to the implications for local food supply, the Senator said that, “one thing we don’t want is for anything to affect the food supply chain. That as you know, can have an effect on prices and by extension, on inflation.” He also expressed the hope that there would be no price gouging.
The JAS President also used the opportunity to commend the National Works Agency (NWA), the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), as well as the Ministries of Transport and Works, and Land and Environment, for their efforts during the passage of Hurricanes Dennis and Emily.