Green pledges immediate support to farmers impacted by Tropical Storm Zeta

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Green pledges immediate support to farmers impacted by Tropical Storm Zeta

Thursday, October 29, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, has pledged to provide immediate assistance to the farmers impacted by flooding as a result of Tropical Storm Zeta which lashed the island over the past few days.

Stating that the agricultural sector had received a massive blow from the storm and the rains which fell before, Green said that based on preliminary estimates from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), there has been in excess of a $1.5 billion economic loss across the agricultural sector impacting over 11,000 farmers.

“We are going to start the intervention immediately to minimise loss and to ensure that farmers who have suffered great loss can get back to planting,” Green said during a tour of flood-damaged farms in Hartlands, St Catherine yesterday.

Green noted that the entire southern belt has taken the brunt of the damage, including St Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, parts of St Catherine, St Thomas and Westmoreland.

Among the crops lost were legumes, vegetables, condiments, fruits, cereal, plantains, bananas, Irish and sweet potatoes, yam, cassava and sorrel.

Some 414 broilers and layers, 62 beef and dairy cattle and 359 pigs as well as other small ruminants have also been lost.

Noting that some areas have been inaccessible, Green pointed out that RADA would have to wait on the water to recede to get to some of these farms.

He further stated that the ministry was looking to rebuild the sector as quickly as possible. This, he said, would be done by redirecting resources in the Production Incentive Programme into emergency aid to provide assistance such as pesticides, fungicides and planting material for farmers.

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