KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, is reporting that damage to the agricultural sector due to flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ian is valued at over $200 million.
The minister, in his announcement, stated that assistance will be provided to affected farmers.
Charles Jr said that from a preliminary, it is clear that people in the sector suffered losses, and after the assessments, a determination will be made in regards to the level of response that will be needed.
Speaking to reporters after the Jamaica Pig Farmers’ Association annual general meeting in Osbourne Store, Clarendon, on September 29, the minister said “We haven’t gotten a breakdown, so we need to disaggregate that, but we are speedily moving ahead to complete those assessments, so that we can put something forward and then to determine how best to give support to those persons who have been impacted.”
He argued that the damage to the farming industry is another reminder that investors in the sector must be resilient against shocks, as many farmers who implemented “resilient operations” were spared losses.
“They were proud that they came out with less damage than they expected, but it also means that we are still in a vulnerable sector that requires collaborations, support, and protection, because it is such an integral and important sector,” the minister said.
He added that the Government is committed to supporting farmers, and that the agriculture ministry will continue to implement incentive programmes.