Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Loss to agriculture sector due to rain over $1 billion

Published:Wednesday | October 28, 2020 | 3:51 PM
A cabbage field in Bog Hole Clarendon under water. (Ricardo Makyn - photographer)

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has indicated that the damage to crops, livestock and infrastructure caused by continuous rainfall over the last four days is almost at $1 billion and counting.

Minister Floyd Green stated that approximately 14,076 hectares of crops were lost, affecting 11,072 farmers. 

Among the crops lost were legumes, vegetables, condiments, fruits, cereal, plantains, bananas, Irish and sweet potatoes, yam, cassava and sorrel.

"Based on preliminary data received, the loss for livestock is estimated at some $30.4 million, affecting 755 farmers. The heaviest losses were from poultry of 414 broilers and layer birds at an estimated value of $12 million. Another area of significant losses is apiculture with damage to 5,190 colonies valued at $10 million and impacting 95 farmers. Sixty-two beef and dairy cattle valued at $6 million were also lost. There were also losses of 359 pigs and small ruminants, valuing some $7 million," a statement from Green read.

Based on a preliminary estimate for both crops and livestock by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA),  losses in the agricultural sector could amount to some $1.82 billion.

"The RADA teams have reported that due to inaccessibility of some areas, we are not able to present the true extent of damage at this time. The team will continue to do assessments as soon as other affected areas become accessible," Green said.

He added that he will be conducting an early tour of the affected areas to get a first-hand view of the impact on the sector, beginning this week. 

"The ministry stands ready to assist the sector to return to production within the shortest time and will continue to support our farmers who continue to face risks through weather-related events of drought and floods," he said. 

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