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JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), is assisting St. Ann farmers who experienced losses in Irish potato production, under the Financial Access for Responsible Members (FARM) programme.
RADA Parish Manager, Pedro Worghs, told JIS News that owing to drought conditions and late planting, the farmers suffered low yields and were not successful in meeting the requirements in repaying their loans from lending agencies.
“The recovery programme will be assisting the 48 farmers under the FARM programme to plant some crops that will assist them to repay their loans. The crops selected for St. Ann are the Bodles Globe pumpkin and sweet potatoes,” Mr. Worghs said.
He alsor stated that the programme should see farmers accessing assistance in the form of seeds and fertilizers, as well as land preparation. He explained that the farmers would access the assistance based on their loan balances.
The assistance will benefit the farmers in three categories: Farmers in category one have a loan balance of between $51,000 and $100,000; farmers in category two, have a loan balance of between $101,000 and $200,000; and category three are farmers with a loan balance of $201,000 and above. A guaranteed market is to be provided for the selected crops.
Mr. Worghs said that during the recovery process, RADA will be giving training to these farmers so that they will be successful in the production of the crops.
Farmer, Marcia Davis, told JIS News that she was happy for the recovery programme, as it would help her to bounce back from her setback.
“I planted two acres of Irish potatoes under the FARM programme and the problem I faced was with the drought. I had access to water but, during the drought, everybody needed water, so there were times when I could not get any, so things did not turn out so well for me,” Miss Davis said.
She thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and RADA for putting the recovery programme in place, so that farmers who suffered low yields could get help in the production of other crops to assist them in repaying their loans.
She lauded the FARM programme and commended the RADA Field Officers for the work that they have been doing to help farmers succeed in the parish.