Rain damage to crops estimated at over $76 million
Preliminary estimates from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) are that damage to crops and livestock in St Mary and Portland, as a result of heavy rains during the period January 31 to February 1, is approximately $76.8 million, affecting more than 551 farmers.
This was disclosed by Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Pearnel Charles Jr., during the Ministry’s virtual media briefing, giving an update on the agricultural sector, on February 8.
He said the industry was negatively impacted by flooding, resulting in crop and livestock losses, damage to road infrastructure, and loss of farmlands due to erosion and landslides.
“The agricultural sector continues to be susceptible to weather-related events, and as a result, farmers are being encouraged to continue to practise climate-smart farming. We are encouraging you to do that in order to reduce the negative impact of these consequences of climate change on your livelihoods,” he urged.
The main crops impacted were banana, plantain, vegetables, tubers (cassava, Irish potato, dasheen and yam), condiments and fruits.
Overall losses in the livestock sector are estimated at more than $1.9 million and affecting 55 farmers.
St Mary was the most severely affected parish with 17 communities impacted. These include Mason Hall, Paggee, Sandside, Cox Street, Trinity, Baileys Vale, Fontabelle, Jacks River and Spring Head.
The Minister urged farmers to take advantage of the GK Insurance Parametric Rain, Drought and Wind Insurance Policy.
“In the event of your farm being seriously impacted by weather-related events, you will receive up to $100,000 in payment,” he informed.
Government officials and technical teams from the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, Local Government and Rural Development, Economic Growth and Job Creation, and RADA will be visiting the affected areas today (February 9) to conduct further assessments.
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