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Portland and St Thomas farmers affected by heavy rains to get gov't assistance – Hutchinson

Published:Wednesday | May 4, 2016 | 5:56 PM
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson says the assistance programme will include the provision of seeds, fertilisers, feed, chickens, and pig sucklings.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson, has indicated that the government will be providing assistance to farmers in Portland and St Thomas who were affected by the recent heavy rains.

He says it should help them in rehabilitating their farms and restoring their livelihoods.

Hutchinson, who toured sections of the flood ravaged areas in Portland yesterday, indicated that total loss has been estimated at over $100 million.

He said the assistance programme, which will be managed by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), will include the provision of seeds, fertilisers, feed, chickens, and pig sucklings.

He pointed out that the crops most affected by the flood damage include banana, plantain, coffee, and yams.

On the livestock side, he said cattle, goats, pigs and a donkey were also lost.

In giving a breakdown, Hutchinson said initial assessments by RADA indicate that a total of 516 farmers have been affected.

Two-hundred-and-fifty-one are in Portland and 265 in St Thomas.

He further said assessments show that 252 hectares of agricultural lands and 419 livestock were impacted by the floods in Portland and 29.7 hectares of crops and 2,053 animals were lost in St Thomas.