Gov't promises help for fire-affected St Elizabeth farmers

Gov't promises help for fire-affected St Elizabeth farmers

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries, J C Hutchinson, has indicated that help is on the way for 47 farmers whose farms were recently devastated by fire in the community of Flagaman, St Elizabeth.

An assessment conducted by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is estimating losses at $45 million.

Speaking yesterday (August 20) following a tour of the affected areas, Hutchinson said that the Government is moving to ensure that farmers rebound as quickly as possible, in an effort to prevent an increase in prices for agriculture produce.

“We in the Ministry will be doing whatever necessary. I have spoken with the Permanent Secretary and he is waiting for the assessment. It is difficult to get back into production, but we are going to see whatever way possible, we can assist you in getting back some grass, because I understand that is the basic material that you want, before you can even start,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson along with Minister of State in the Ministry, Floyd Green, toured farm areas of Flagaman to get a first-hand view of the damage after an extensive fire which destroyed farms on Friday, August 16.

Farmers lost various crops, as well as equipment such as drip hoses and water storage tanks.

Green subsequently pledged $1 million from hisConstituency Development Fundto aid in assisting the farmers.

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