Flood damage to agri sector being assessed

by May 18th, 2017

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Karl Samuda says an assessment is being conducted on the extent of damage to the agricultural sector as a result of heavy rains this week.

A ministry statement says teams from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) are on the ground conducting damage assessments.

It says as soon as accessibility permits in some areas, preliminary figures will be obtained as to the true state of damage done to the agricultural sector.

Mr. Samuda says it is expected that the losses to the agricultural sector will be in the millions of dollars, due to widespread damage to crops, livestock and infrastructure.

The Agriculture Minister says its known that areas of extensive vegetable production such as Kellits and Bog Hole in Clarendon, St. Catherine and St. Ann are under flood water.

The minister says there are also reports of flooding in areas of St. Elizabeth, resulting in crop losses.

There are unconfirmed reports of loss of cows, goats and pigs in Clarendon and St. Thomas.

Mr. Samuda adds that broiler farmers are also affected.

The Agriculture Minister said major interventions will be needed from the ministry to assist the sector to return to production within the shortest time. He also adds that access to seeds, seedlings and other inputs will be critical at this time.

Mr. Samuda states that the ministry stands ready to continue to support and provide productivity incentives to farmers who continue to face risks through weather related events of drought and floods as well as pests and diseases.

He explains that this will be done through the ministry’s production incentive fund which now stands at some $200 m.

Mr. Samuda says  once the estimates of damage have been completed by Rada, the ministry  will  undertake the allocation of funding and input supply to those farmers who have been affected by these floods.