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Eastern banana farmers get Sandy relief this week

Published: Wednesday November 14, 2012 | 9:12 am Comments 0
Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke
Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke

Banana farmers in St. Mary, Portland and St. Thomas will today begin to receive help to get back on track following the massive blow to the industry by Hurricane Sandy.

The Agriculture Ministry says farmers will be receiving inputs under a $100 million loan programme.

In addition, Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke says registered banana farmers who supply the chips market will benefit from a three-year $100 million banana resuscitation loan programme.

He says loans will be offered to these farmers at a rate of five percent interest.

The agriculture minister says loan processing is scheduled to begin today at the Trinity Boxing Plant in St Mary.

The application process will continue tomorrow at the Boundbrook Wharf in Portland.

In the meantime, Clarke says small farmers, who are unable to take up loans, will receive fertilizers through a $13.5-million European Union Banana Support Programme.

The agriculture minister also says a $7 million payout is to be made to farmers under the Banana Industry Catastrophe Fund.

He says after those claims are honoured, the attention will be turned to making payouts to farmers in Western Jamaica.

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