$1b available for agriculture programme to assist small farmers - Shaw
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw, says an additional $1billion has been allocated to the Ministry’s Productivity Incentive Programme (PIP) to assist small farmers in light of challenges being experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shaw said the sum is contained in the early supplementary budget recently tabled in Parliament by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke.
“All is not lost. We are continuing to purchase produce from our small farmers at market prices and selling them in community markets across the country at a little less. We are getting it off the hands of small farmers and into the marketplace,” Mr Shaw noted.
He was delivering remarks at a virtual town hall meeting on COVID-19 Recovery Strategies for the Agriculture Sector, at the Ministry’s St Lucia Avenue offices.
Established by the Ministry, the PIP is being implemented through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) with the aim of increasing and sustaining agricultural production to meet market demands.
The programme also seeks to protect the livelihood of rural farm families and positively impact national food security.
It also targets the development of nine crops such as yam, ginger, dasheen, hot pepper, Irish potato, onion, strawberry and cassava.