By Damion Mitchell, Staff Reporter
THE RURAL Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) reported yesterday that the preliminary estimates of the value of damage to agricultural crops and livestock in the four parishes worst affected by Hurricane Charley last week is $88.4 million.
Of the four parishes Manchester, St. Elizabeth, West-moreland and Hanover St. Elizabeth was the worst-hit, accounting for $63.5 million of the total amount in damage with some 750 farmers being directly affected.
According to Albert Shand, RADA's executive director, assessments were still being carried out in the ravaged communities of southern St. Elizabeth, with a number of extension officers from other areas in the parish being reassigned to southern St. Elizabeth to expedite the assessment process.
Shand said, however, that RADA was unable to provide tangible assistance to the affected farmers until these assessments are complete, and a relief programme is approved by the Government.