Government to help St Thomas farmers
Agriculture Minister, Derrick Kellier, says the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the Coffee Industry Board will be compiling a list of the farmers, whose crops were destroyed in recent bush fires in St Thomas.
He says the Government will be providing assistance to growers of Blue Mountain Coffee and other crops.
Kellier says the list will ensure that proper representation can be made to the agencies that will be funding the response programme, and ensure that all the affected farmers get help.
He has told the farmers that most of the support will be in the form of provision of seedlings and fertilisers.
However, Kellier says there will also be a cash component, so that those whose earnings have been disrupted can meet some of their expenses while they rehabilitate their farms.
Hundreds of acres of farmlands in the parish have reportedly been damaged by the bush fires.
Farmers in the hills of Black Spur, Mahogany Vale, Hagley Gap, and Epping Farm, have lossed coffee, bananas and cash crops.
Kellier is again urging farmers and other persons to exercise care in the handling of fires.
The agriculture minister was speaking earlier this week during a tour of the affected areas.