Mandeville Weekly News

OVER $17 MILLION TO HELP FIGHT BEET ARMY WORM

Posted by Editor (Wendy) on Jun 28 2017 at 3:00 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, said that $17.7 million has been allocated to assist farmers who were impacted by the beet army worm, especially in sections of Manchester and St. Elizabeth.

This is in addition to the $118 million to provide assistance for some 10,000 farmers islandwide who were severely affected by the heavy rains in May, which resulted in losses estimated at $794 million.

Minister Hutchinson said that the $17 million will be used to provide input material, spray equipment and personal protective equipment and pheromone septas to monitor the pests; to assist with spraying and soil preparation, and for training, while speaking at the Hardware and Lumber Agro-Syngenta Customer Appreciation Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, held at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, Manchester, on June 7.

As a result of a recent outbreak of the beet army worm, some 297 farmers lost 97 hectares of scallion, onion, tomato and beans.

Minister Hutchinson said that his vision for the agricultural sector is that it will drive the country’s economic development.

“Our emphasis must be on having a structured approach to the sector, ensuring that resources and continued strategic partnerships are provided to move production upwards along the value chain,” he added.

The Minister said that in keeping with the thrust to make agro-processing an integral part of the agricultural sector, he is happy with the recent investments in the sector, including the two new World Bank-funded facilities that were opened in St. Mary and Portland.

Miniister Hutchinson pointed to the packaging facility in the New Forest/Duff House Agro-Park in Manchester, which is 95 per cent complete and will be opened soon. Included in the complex will be a processing floor, office space, cold and dry storage and storage for goods to be processed, as well as a 30,000-gallon water tank.

Also speaking at the luncheon was Chairman of Hardware and Lumber Limited (H&L), Mr. Irwin Burton, who pledged his company’s commitment to work with the Minister to get Irish potato and onion production up in South St. Elizabeth.

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