JIS News

Manager for the St. Ann branch of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Pedro Worghs, is encouraging farmers in the parish who suffered agricultural losses from Tropical Storm Gustav, not to be discouraged and to continue to produce.
“At present we are in the process of completing our assessment of the damage and to date we have picked up that over $9 million worth of damage was done to agriculture in this parish,” Mr. Worghs told JIS News, informing that the farmers who suffered the most, were those involved in Greenhouse production.
“Around 50 per cent of that $9 million damage was done to the greenhouse farmers,” he said, noting that one greenhouse in the Moneague area was destroyed while the roofs of others were destroyed.
Crops that were most affected, he said, were bananas, plantains and vegetables, due to flooding in the Cave Valley area. He further added that vegetable farmers in the Douglas Castle area suffered major losses as well, noting that this and the Cave Valley area are the major vegetable growing areas, in the parish.
“It is very important to note that in this parish, we tried to sensitise the farmers on actions to be taken before and after a hurricane. The Ministry of Agriculture and RADA, also ran a number of advertisements on air so I guess farmers must have heard those messages and took them seriously,” he said.
He is urging farmers to continue to co-operate with the assessors in the fields so that the evaluation process can be completed smoothly.
“I’m encouraging the farmers to pick up their pieces and restart. I know some people take it very seriously and might want to quit but I also know that farmers are real tough and you have the capacity to rise to any occasion,” he said.