(DNO) – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said his government will spend an additional EC$10 million under the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) in order to provide support to farmers.
He said, while addressing the nation on Sunday, that support will be provided to crop and livestock farmers.
“We are also committing to spend an additional 10 million EC dollars under the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC), of the Emergency Agriculture Livelihoods Project,” he said. “Support will be provided to crop and livestock farmers. This will include the provision of planting materials, essential inputs such as fertilizer, small farming implements and animal feed to assist with meeting the cost of farm labour and other direct costs, cash grants have been approved to approximately 2,500 individual crop farmers.”
According to Prime Minister Skerrit, the amount of these grants is based on the size of the farmers holding.
“Farmers with small holdings will receive grants of EC$700, medium holdings EC$1,400 and large holdings EC$2,800. This intervention is valued at EC$3.5 million,” he explained.
Skerrit said the full details of the assistance package to the entire agriculture sector which also includes an ambitious seedlings program, as well as direct assistance to pork and poultry farmers, will be unveiled this week by the Ministry.
He said the government is confident that the interventions will help lower the food import bill, reduce household expenditure, improve dietary quality and increase sustainable employment.
“We should also see higher export volumes and increased income for families,” he stated.
Prime Minister Skerrit encourages residents to produce as much as possible while the Government is doing its part to ensure that there are markets available for the sale of your produce.
“We have also agreed to purchase fresh produce and fish from farmers and fishers who are prepared to sell directly to the government,” he stated. “Some of this produce will also be distributed to the most vulnerable in our communities. An amount of $3.0 million has been set aside to facilitate this programme.”