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Jamaica - Too early to provide estimate for agri losses after flood rains

The Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) say it is too early to provide a realistic estimate of the damage and losses to the agriculture caused by days of heavy rainfall.

Acres of farmland have been left under water and many roads devastated.

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) the extension services arm of the agriculture ministry has indicated that with many farms still under water, efforts by farmers to salvage anything have been stymied.

Communications and public relations officer at RADA, Camille Beckford told The Gleaner that any estimate within the next few days would be “preliminary” at best, given the challenges.

Farmers are still grappling with the loss of livestock, as well as damage to crops and property, she said.

However, extension officers have been busy working to assess the damage and provide relief to some of the worst affected farmers.

Meanwhile, the JAS, the national association representing farmers, said the problem of Internet connectivity continues to affect efforts to get reports from farmers across Jamaica.

The JAS said, too, that fishers are among the affected stakeholders whose assessment have not yet been ascertained.

In May 2017, heavy rains caused close to $800 million in damage to the agriculture sector, when an estimated 10,000 farmers were affected.

Some 8,862 farmers suffered crop losses of $718 million while over 1,400 farmers suffered livestock losses of an estimated $76.2 million totalling $794.2 million.

The preliminary estimate had put the damage to the sector at $522 million.

Source – http://jamaica-gleaner.com



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