$200 million earmarked to continue agriculture buy-back programme
The Ministry of Agriculture has earmarked an additional $200 million to continue the Government's Buy-Back Programme.
Portfolio Minister, Floyd Green, said that programme is among “aggressive strategic initiatives” implemented last year in response to the “unprecedented crisis” caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Green, speaking in Parliament on Wednesday during his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate, noted that through the initiatives “we have been able to stabilise the sector and return to growth”.
He informed that under the programme the Government provided $240 million to assist in the movement of excess produce from farmers to domestic consumers.
The excess was due to the closure of hotels, restaurants, and schools during the pandemic.
“Our international partners, recognising the necessity, [also] answered our call, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provided an additional $35 million to support the programme,” Green said.
To date, the programme has impacted more than 40,000 farm families and moved 2.5 million kilogrammes of produce.
Another initiative is the 'Say Yes to Fresh' private-public campaign, which involves creating new marketing channels through farmers' markets, drive-through markets and special package deliveries.
The Ministry, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), facilitated more than 114 farmers' markets and 55 drive-through markets.
Green told the House that egg, poultry, and pig farmers were also provided support valuing $25 million.
He noted, further, that farmers, in collaboration with the Ministry, supported quarantined communities and institutions through direct contributions of free produce valuing approximately $16 million.
- JIS News
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