Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, has lauded St. Jago Farm and Hardware Supplies Limited for its support to farmers impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through the donation of $7.5 million.
Under the initiative, farmers will receive vouchers, which they can redeem for critical inputs such as seeds, fertilisers, plant nutrition and vitamin supplements for animals.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon, on Thursday (November 26), Minister Green said that St. Jago Farm and Hardware Supplies has been a “great partner to agriculture” over the years.
He said that the COVID-19 support will “go a far way in enabling our farmers to accelerate their production”.
He noted that it will also assist the Government $646.9-million recovery programme, which will benefit some 21,000 farmers impacted by the recent heavy rains, over the next three months.
The funds will go towards infrastructural support and provision of planting material, chemicals and fertilisers.
“We will be focusing also on rehabilitating greenhouses, helping our livestock farmers, especially those in relation to small ruminants and our bee farmers to get them back on their feet,” Minister Green pointed out.
For his part, Managing Director of St. Jago Farm and Hardware Supplies, O’Brien Johnson, said that the request for support came from the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), and he reached out to his overseas partners, who came on board.
The vouchers will be handed over to the Ministry and the JAS for distribution to the farmers.
He urged the farmers to use the products that they will receive wisely, so that they will be able to recover profitably.
Vice President of the JAS, Denton Alvaranga, expressed gratitude to St. Jago Farm and Hardware Supplies on behalf of the beneficiaries.
“You are a partner to the farm sector and you empower our farmers, making them more profitable. We are truly grateful for the support,” he said.