Jamaica’s ministry of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), is spending $15 million to assist farmers affected by the ongoing drought.
Portfolio Minister, Audley Shaw, said a proper assessment is being done to determine further assistance or interventions.
In a statement to the House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 31), Minister Shaw also informed that under the ministry’s production incentive programme, some $19.95 million is being allocated via members of parliament [MPs] to assist in providing inputs to farmer’s island wide.
An estimated 5,600 farmers have been affected with losses of 500 hectares. The crops most affected include vegetables, condiments, fruits, cereal roots, and tubers.
Additionally, 99 farmers in the parishes of St Andrew and St Thomas -have sustained an estimated loss of $20.9 million – as a result of bush fires. The crops impacted are coffee and fruit trees, as well as farm buildings, goats and pasture lands.