Help for higglers in Annotto Bay

May 19, 2020
Audley Shaw, Minister of Agriculture

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has assisted higglers in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, through its Buy-Back Programme, at a cost of $650,000.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Audley Shaw, during a recent virtual town hall meeting.

“Given the developing quarantine situation in some sections of St. Mary, we have also responded to the needs of the parish with assistance for the Annotto Bay higglers,” he said.

The Government is spending $240 million to purchase excess produce from farmers impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Through the Buy-Back Programme, assistance is being given to egg, pig and fresh produce farmers. The programme is being partly funded through the Production Incentive Programme.

The Production Incentive Programme, which is being implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), aims to increase and sustain agricultural production to meet market demand. The programme also seeks to protect the livelihood of rural farm families and positively impact national food security.

On May 7, three communities in St. Mary were placed under quarantine as a result of the coronavirus. Areas quarantined are Dover, Enfield and Annotto Bay.

The quarantine of communities in St. Mary began at 6:00 a.m. on May 7, 2020, and will end at 6:00 a.m. on May 21, 2020, subject to whether additional cases are identified and whether there is a growing outbreak in the areas.

In the meantime, Shaw said the Ministry has been arranging mobile farmers’ markets to sell the excess produce and have coordinated the distribution of produce to quarantined communities for farmers who wished to donate their excess supply.

“In every crisis, we must remember there is a seed of opportunity, and my Ministry is helping our farmers and producers to recognise and seize these opportunities,” he said.

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