Farmers get plants, fertiliser

Agriculture Ministry helps those whose yams were stolen

East End farmers have received new plants from the Agriculture Ministry to help replace plants that were stolen recently.

Agriculture Minister Juliana O’Connor Connolly gave the plants and other materials to farmers Alida Scott and Irvin Forbes last week after she had promised to assist farmers who had their produce stolen.

Farmers received banana and plantain suckers, a lime tree, scallion plants and various pepper seedlings, as well as a chicken trap and fertiliser. Yam suckers are also to be given to the farmers at the start of the planting season.

“We really appreciate the help,” said Ms Scott. “ … this presentation of plants and supplies has encouraged us to go on.

“Our hearts were broken because what the thieves did meant a big financial loss. Even worse, it also prevented us from giving free produce to other residents and elderly shut-ins as we normally do,” said Ms Scott.

Ms O’Connor-Connolly said that the supplies were meant to help farmers get back on their feet following their loss. She also called on the community to be vigilant in protecting farmers from thieves and other threats to their livelihood.

“These farmers help to feed our families, the community and the country. We must do everything to protect their living,” she said. The Minister also urged community members to remain alert for, and report, anyone who is not known to be a farmer, but who is seen selling farm produce.

Department of Agriculture Director Adrian Estwick said his department will continue to work closely with the farmers throughout the recovery process.

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Agriculture Minister Juliana O’Connor-Conolly presents plant material to farmers Alida Scott, second from left, and Irvin Forbes. Others, from left, are Agriculture Director Adrian Estwick, Audley Chambers of the Department of Agriculture, agronomist Raymond Coleman and Devon Stewart of the Department of Agriculture.
Photo: Submitted

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