JIS News

A total of $8.3 million has already been disbursed to some 32 farmers in St. Ann to carry on crop production, under the Financial Access to Responsible Members (FARM) programme.
Manager for the St. Ann Branch of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Pedro Worghs, told JIS News that since the launch of the FARM Programme in the parish, a total of 71 farmers have been selected to participate.
“Sixty seven farmers were selected for the growing of irish potatoes and 4 farmers for the production of onions,” he said. He added that 10.9 hectares of crops were established, with a major portion of the establishments being irish potatoes.
“The farmers must establish a minimum of 0.4 hectares of crops, and the crops selected for St. Ann are irish potatoes, onions and carrots, but to date no farmer has applied for assistance for the growing of carrots,” he told JIS News.
He further informed that the programme was doing well in the parish, and that the farmers were actively establishing their crops.
“In one particular area in the parish, namely Blackstonedge, farmers were experiencing drought but, at present, things have changed and the farmers were able to overcome,” Mr. Worghs said.
In light of marketing for the specific crops, he said that all the farmers involved signed a marketing contract, which served as a guarantee that there would be a market for their produce when the crops were harvested.
He is encouraging the farmers to continue to show a greater level of commitment to the sector, and in helping to feed the nation.
The FARM Programme was launched in St. Ann on November 30, 2009. It is being carried out in collaboration with Approved Financial Institutions (AFIs), to provide monetary assistance for farming projects.