Saint Lucia: Stakeholders begin to benefit from $EC 26 million dollar agriculture package
Monday 22 November 2010 - The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Forestry says its EC$26 million dollar assistance package for farmers who incurred losses from the passage of hurricane Tomas and the recent inclement weather is critical especially because of the importance of agriculture to the local economy.
Agriculture Minister Honourable Ezekiel Joseph says the relief package will also benefit fishers who were also negatively impacted. In some instances fishers lost their boats, fish pots and other equipment.
"We are going to assist our fishers to fix their engines and boats and to replace a lot of the equipment that they lost during the hurricane. Aqua culture farmers who also experienced the negative impact will be given support with regards to cleaning and restocking their respective ponds".
The EC$26 million dollar assistance package is earmarked to benefit all the agriculture sub sectors. The Agriculture Minister says this includes Poultry and Vegetable farmers who were also adversely affected.
"The livestock and vegetable sectors will be given a lot of support. In the case of the vegetable sector, we are going to give affected farmers seedlings, inputs and support with land preparation. This is why we have assigned one tractor for the north and one for the southern region but that has to be properly coordinated so we are asking interested farmers to contact the extension officers so that the programme can be well coordinated and properly synchronised".
The Ministry of Agriculture's $EC26 million dollar assistance package has received the support of Finance Minister, Honourable Stephenson King.
The first phase of the assistance programme has already taken effect and will run until December 31, 2010.