Farmers grateful for Gov’t help – Fulton
The Ministry of Finance has included $1 billion in the 2020-2021 Budget to assist farmers.
Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President Lenworth Fulton gave the information to The Gleaner in an interview at the Trelawny Farmers’ Market held at the Hague Showgrounds on May 22.
“In a recast of the Budget, Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke announced a $1-billion inclusion to assist farmers. A programme to decide how farmers will benefit will be written by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority. We at JAS will have an input. Farmers will have to prove that they suffered both from the drought and COVID-19,” Fulton said.
The Government’s help to farmers since the virus crisis has not gone unnoticed by the JAS president.
“The Government has spent $240 million to purchase produce from farmers right across the island. Over 300 farmers have benefited, and we are grateful,” he said.
Fulton, who himself is a farmer, added: “All of the parish agricultural shows, except one, Hague, have been cancelled. Denbigh, the oldest and largest agricultural show in the English-speaking Caribbean, which started in 1952, has been hit. The cancellations have been a big setback for our finances and our plans.”
This year, the annual Denbigh Agricultural Show will take on a non-traditional format. “It will be more of a family day for farmers. Plans include a multifaceted farmers’ market, where there will be meat, vegetables, eggs, etc., on sale. There will also be video presentations from farmers who have animals for sale. Suppliers of insecticides, fertilisers, and vehicles for farmers will be part of the video presentations. Farmers will watch these videos and make plans going forward,” Fulton disclosed.