JIS News

Approximately $581 million worth of damage has been done to the agricultural sector in Portland by Tropical Storm Gustav, according to preliminary estimates carried out by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
The findings, which have been presented to the Ministry of Agriculture, will be followed up with a final assessment, which is expected to be completed by the end of this week.
In an interview with JIS News, Deputy Parish Manager for RADA in Portland, Howard O’Hara, said about 4,567 farmers have been affected, adding that a breakdown of the losses are: crops, $351 million; livestock, $220 million; land husbandry structures, $10 million; and protective agriculture, $85,000.
He also noted that 20 kilometres of farm roads were damaged by the heavy rains.
Pointing out that a total of 834 hectares of crops were lost during the storm, Mr. O’Hara said banana and plantain accounted for most of the losses.
In terms of protective agriculture, which involves greenhouse farming, the Manager noted that two greenhouses were damaged during the tropical storm.
He explained that RADA would be working with the affected farmers to ensure that their farms are resuscitated as quickly as possible, adding that he was confident that the resilience they displayed in the past, would enable them to overcome the current challenges.