JIS News

The St. Thomas office of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) has begun the distribution of vouchers to farmers, who suffered losses during Hurricane Ivan, to assist them in their replanting efforts.
RADA Parish Manager for St. Thomas, Caswell Glover, told JIS News that the office had received some 1,014 general agricultural vouchers from the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) and that so far, some 750 have been distributed to farmers. The ONR was set up after the passage of Hurricane Ivan to coordinate the reconstruction effort.
Mr. Glover said some 264 vouchers were returned to the ONR since the office was unable to identify some of the farmers.
He informed that the vouchers are redeemable at agricultural stores where farmers could exchange their vouchers for agricultural inputs.
Additionally, Mr. Glover said, some 478 vouchers were received on Monday, January 10, for distribution to small poultry farmers. The farmers, he said, could use them to access poultry feed and medication at their regular farm stores. He noted that the farm stores could in turn, use these vouchers to purchase replacement supplies from major agricultural stores such as, T. Geddes Grant, Agro Grace, Antilles Chemicals, Federated Pharmaceuticals and the Jamaica Livestock Association.
He said that persons had been calling the office to enquire about their vouchers since the distribution exercise began.
“They’ve been calling the office and they are anxious, but we tell them that as soon as the vouchers are ready, they will be informed,” he told JIS News, noting that approximately 3,500 farmers had been recommended for assistance.
Meanwhile, the RADA Parish Manager said that the JAS branch office had started distributing spray equipment, planting materials and fertilisers to JAS groups in the parish. “So far they have supplied inputs to over 12 JAS groups,” he informed.

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