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Crops Islandwide Affected By Heavy Rains, Says Agriculture Ministry

RJR News / The Ministry of Agriculture is reporting that all crops across Jamaica were affected by this week’s heavy rains.      Several livestock farmers also suffered losses.      The ministry is expecting a preliminary estimate on Friday from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) of the losses incurred by farmers.      RADA officers are in the field carrying out assessments.      Speaking with RJR News Thursday morning, J.C. Hutchinson, Minister without Portfolio in the Agriculture Ministry, said additional funds will be sought from the Finance Ministry to help get farmers back on their feet. “When we had the heavy rains about two weeks ago, we had actually put in an estimate for some funding…. So what we are looking at is getting the estimates of this one and seeing if we can get some more added on to that to assist with those others who might have got flooded this time,” he declared.      In the meantime, Mr. Hutchinson has responded to complaints from farmers at the Plantain Garden River Agro-Park in St. Thomas that the extensive damage to crops and irrigation equipment this week could have been avoided if there was river training.                                                       “If you look at some areas, even when you have rivers and you have river training, when you have a heavy shower of rain like we have been having, it doesn’t matter what happens, the water overflows the banks and floods the housing scheme, floods the roads, floods farm lands; and so, no matter what you do with the river training, once you get a heavy shower of rain and you have the flooding that takes place, it’s difficult to control,” the minister insisted. 

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