Hon Karl Samuda (centre), Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, tours banana farm of Winsome Crosdale (right) in Canewood, Portland, which was severely impacted by the flooding caused by the recent rains. Minister Samuda was accompanied by representatives of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, including Peter Thompson (left), chief executive officer, and Michael Stern (in the background), chairman. According to Miss Crosdale, some 40 per cent of the mature fruits on the 10-acre property were lost, the irrigation system was disrupted and rubble from the Swift River was deposited on to the property.
By the end of March 2018, $320m will be spent on the repair of farm roads islandwide. In addition, $100m will be provided in assistance to farmers who were impacted by the recent flooding in the most devastated areas.
This was disclosed by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Karl Samuda, at a meeting with farmers in Orange Bay, Portland, on February 1.
The agriculture minister advised that of the $420m, Portland will be receiving just under $25m for repair of farm roads and $30m from the Ministry’s Productivity Incentive Scheme towards assistance for farmers who were severely affected by the flooding.
Following a tour of farms at Canewood in Portland that were affected by flooding, resulting from inadequate drainage and the overflowing of Swift River, Minister Samuda commended the farmers for their courage and for not quitting in the midst of adversity.
“We are going to protect those lands adjacent to the Swift River by putting in gabion baskets to prevent the water from coming over the bank and flooding that area, said Minister Samuda.
In addition, the agriculture minister called on the Rural Agricultural Development Authority to look at the acquisition of small excavators that can be loaned to the farmers in each parish under the control of one single operator per tractor. The tractor will be used to go through the banana fields, clear the drains, and prepare new drains to reduce the farmers’ reliance on manual labour.
That, Minister Samuda said, will be the hallmark of one of the Ministry’s strategies going forward, providing small farmers with equipment that can help them so that they will not have to labour manually to get the results that others get elsewhere.
Welcome to the official website of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
We have, therefore, placed much energy and enthusiasm into the development of this website to provide timely information on the Ministry, our agencies and programmes.
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