ODPEM Targets Agriculture this Hurricane Season


The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will this year partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries on a set of initiatives to support the Ministry’s focus on food and food security.
Director of Information and Training at ODPEM, Delmares White, made the disclosure while speaking at a JIS Think Tank in Kingston on Wednesday, May 12, at which she outlined plans for Hurricane Preparedness Month and other matters related to the season, which starts on June 1.
“This year we have scaled down a little bit and changed the focus and targeted the agricultural sector, because we recognize that food safety and security is a national and global issue. We will be participating in some activities with the Ministry of Agriculture and this is scheduled to take place later this month,” Miss White told JIS News.
She said that among the activities being planned will be a ‘Hurricane Preparedness Week for Business’ during the week of May 17 to 22, which will be launched at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
“There will also be some training sessions for persons in various sectors within the agricultural industry. We will be bringing information to the stakeholders in the sector. For example, we will not only be encouraging (a) farmer to secure his own dwelling, but also the pig pens and the chicken coops. We want to bring to the farmers ways of protecting their crops during a hurricane,” she said.
Miss White said that the planning process is to ensure that farmers can re-start their livelihoods quickly after a disaster. Among the interventions, she said, will be the securing of seedlings and other materials to replace whatever is lost, as a way of ensuring a faster recovery after a disaster.
ODPEM launched Hurricane Preparedness Month at the end of April, at a function addressed by Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Montague. Miss White said this practice of using May as the month for preparation, prior to the start of the Hurricane season, began last year and has had a successful outcome.
She reminded Jamaicans that it is cheaper to get their hurricane supplies before the season begins, as prices of those items usually start to go up during the regular season.
Miss White also encouraged the nation’s citizens to do their planning and make their purchases in advance, to avoid the higher prices of non-perishable foods and hurricane supplies which come about during the hurricane season.
“We recognize that things get expensive in June to November, when the announcements are made and you have to go to the supermarkets to buy all that you need,” she explained.

JIS Social