JIS News

Vegetable production in Northern Clarendon has rebounded, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan on September 10.
In an interview with JIS News, Percival Shaw, Clarendon’s Parish Manager for the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), reported that a total of 842 tons or 842,000 kilogrammes of lettuce, pak choi, cucumber and cabbage should be available on the local market between November and December.
Mr. Shaw pointed out that about 49 hectares of these crops had been brought back into production since the hurricane, and this should yield over 200,000 kilogrammes (200 tons) of lettuce, 170,000 kilograms (170 tons) of pak choi, 252,000 kilograms (252 tons) of cucumber and 220,000 kilogrammes (220 tons) of cabbage.
“There has been a substantial increase in the production of vegetables since the hurricane and this will impact directly on the availability of the vegetables in the local market for Christmas. Lettuce is now being imported into the island and based on the production that we have seen, we don’t envisage a need for any prolonged importation of a large amount of lettuce in the next two months and beyond,” he said.
“We have a very resilient set of farmers. Some 1,200 of them in the Mason River, Kellits, Bog Hole and Sandy River communities have not been waiting on the government to give them assistance before they start producing again, and we have been doing our best to provide them with the technical assistance needed to resume their production,” Mr. Shaw added.
He noted that the increase in production was expected to continue as long as favourable weather conditions persisted.
Mr. Shaw said that some 13,000 farmers had been assessed by RADA for losses caused by the hurricane. This was done in conjunction with the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR).
They are expected to receive support from the Government under four categories, which will be based on the extent of the damage suffered. Assistance will range from $2,500 to $10,000.

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