Hurricane-ravaged agriculture sector on road to recovery through assistant programme
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris announced that the agricultural sector has begun to recover from the damages sustained by hurricanes Irma and Maria this year under the Hurricane Relief Compensation Initiative, where a sum of EC$300,000 was allocated to aid in the recovery efforts in the agriculture and fisheries Sector.
“I reported that we have made a special allocation of [more than] EC$300,000 available to the ministry to deal with some significant damage to that sector and to assist the farmers and fishers in getting back on their feet,” said Harris at the Nov. 29 press conference.
Harris said that the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture has indicated that to date 102 crop farmers have qualified for hurricane relief. He stated that 57 have already collected all or some of the materials available to them, while 22 out of the 33 livestock farmers have already received support.
He also said that the Department of Agriculture has a number of services and sales items available to the beneficiaries such as building materials, particularly lumber and galvanize to assist the farmers in rebuilding their damaged property.
Prime Minister Harris noted that thus far, a sum of EC$184,012 has been dispersed under the programme. A sum of EC$34,000 went into road restoration, while EC$75,412 and EC$74,600 have been placed toward the buying of hardware, materials and services from the Department of Agriculture.
The decision for the allocation of funds to the agricultural and fisheries sector was as a result of the formal sitting of Cabinet held Oct. 23, where the expense was deemed necessary for the relief efforts in these sectors devastated by the passing of hurricanes in September, 2017.