$400M for agriculture drought mitigation
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries J.C. Hutchinson says a programme is to be undertaken to boost agriculture production amid drought conditions.
Addressing a media briefing today, Hutchinson noted that several parishes have already reported drought conditions, adding that this less-than-average rainfall is expected to continue until the end of May.
Against that background, he said the Ministry, through its Drought Adaptation Programme, at a cost of $400 million, is aiming to increase agricultural production by at least 5% over a 12-month period for vegetables, fruits, condiments, roots and tubers and small ruminants.
He said the programme will be implemented in St Elizabeth, Manchester, Trelawny, Clarendon, St Catherine, St Ann and St Mary, targeting more than excess of 13,000 farmers.
Meanwhile, he said Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will implement the Backyard Garden Kit programme to encourage the growing of vegetable crops at home to provide additional dietary and budgetary support to urban and peri-urban populations.
Hutchinson said the Ministry targeting at least 5,000 backyard gardening kits to be available to beneficiaries later this year.
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