Agriculture ministry reports multi-billion dollar loss due to heavy rains

by October 28th, 2020

The Agriculture Ministry is reporting that torrential rains over the weekend resulted in an estimated $1.82 b loss, in crops and livestock, for about 12,000 farmers.


A statement from Agriculture Minister Floyd Green says the persistent rains directly impacted the agricultural sector, with flooding reported in most parishes.


Among the worst affected areas are Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, Manchester, St. Catherine, St. Andrew and St. Thomas.


Mr. Green notes that this resulted in approximately 14,076 hectares of crops being lost, at an estimated preliminary value of just under one billion dollars.


About 11,072 farmers were impacted.


Among the crops lost are legumes, vegetables, fruits, cereal, plantains, bananas, irish and sweet potatoes, yam, cassava and sorrel.


The agriculture minister further notes that based on preliminary data received, loss of livestock is estimated at $30.4 m, with approximately 755 farmers affected.


He says the heaviest loss was from poultry, with 414 broiler and layer birds, at an estimated value of $12 m.


Another area of significant loss is beekeeping, with damage to 5,190 colonies, valued at $10 m, and 95 farmers in this sub-sector impacted.


Sixty-two beef and dairy cattle, valued at $6 m, were also lost.


Meantime, there were also losses of 359 pigs, and small ruminants, valuing $7 m.


Overall, the agriculture minister says a preliminary estimate for both crops and livestock by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) places losses in the agricultural sector at $1.82 b.


A total of 11,827 farmers were impacted.


The minister adds that teams from RADA have not been able to present the true extent of damage at this time, due to inaccessibility to some areas.


The team will continue to do assessments as soon as other affected areas become accessible.


Mr. Green will also be conducting a tour of the affected areas to get a first hand view of the impact on the sector, beginning this week.