11/17/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2020 14:48
Dr. Ralston Bent (right), farm manager at Serge Island, explains to Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Floyd Green (2nd left); Member of Parliament for West St. Thomas, James Robertson; and Bevene Martin-Dickenson, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) St. Thomas Parish Agricultural Manager, the damage caused by the incursion of the nearby river on pasture lands, resulting in the loss of 30 acres of land valued at an estimated $100 million. Over $600 million has been provided by the Ministry to assist farmers impacted by the rains to get back into production.
Agriculture Minister Floyd Green has reassured farmers in St. Thomas that the Government will be moving quickly to ensure that they get back into production as quickly as possible, following the recent rains which devastated their crops, livestock and road infrastructure.
Speaking during a tour of several flood-damaged farms in St. Thomas on November 13, 2020, Minister Green said that the Ministry, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, will get help to the farmers who need it most.
'We have outlined a package of support, which is about $646 million across crops, livestock and also infrastructure,' Minister Green stated.
Noting the loss of 30 acres of pasture land by Serge Island due to the incursion of a nearby river, Minister Green said the situation was particularly distressing as the Ministry has been focusing a lot on revitalising the dairy industry and a significant blow to Serge Island's operation.
Commenting on the issue of the rivers overflowing their banks, Minister Green said that the Agriculture Ministry would be collaborating with other ministries to look at the issue of river training on a consistent basis, especially since the country was experiencing much shorter but intense periods of rain. Failure to do so, he said, would result in greater losses to the farmers.
Notwithstanding the losses, the Agriculture Minister encouraged the farmers to continue to invest in agriculture despite the challenges and said that Government would continue to work with the private sector and farmers to revitalise the pastures.