The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining says it continues to closely monitor recent heavy rainfall activity in southern sections of St Elizabeth and Manchester, which it notes has resulted in substantial damage to farms and road networks.
In response to these reports, the ministry stated today (June 9) that it has swiftly taken action by dispatching assessment teams from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to conduct thorough assessments across both parishes.
The teams will evaluate the extent of the damage and identify the immediate needs of affected farmers and communities, according to the ministry.
Portfolio minister Floyd Green, who is also Member of Parliament for South West St Elizabeth, expressed deep concern for the affected farmers and their livelihoods.
“A number of farmers have suffered losses especially to crops like tomato, melon, escallion in the Duff House, Comma Pen, Bull Savannah, Ballards Valley areas,” the agri minister stated.
“I expect that I will be able to have a preliminary assessment on Monday, but the farmers can rest assured that we will ensure that they are able to get back on their feet,” he continued.
Continuing in its statement, the agriculture ministry said it is cognizant of the challenges and concerns faced by farmers who have experienced losses.
“The well-being and support of our farmers are of utmost importance to us. We urge all farmers to continue to take proactive measures to lessen the impact on their farms and mitigate potential damages. We want to assure all affected farmers that once the assessments are complete, we will work diligently to provide the necessary support and assistance to aid in their recovery and rehabilitation efforts. If you are in need of support, farmers are encouraged to contact their local RADA offices,” the ministry advised.
In the meantime, the Jamaica Meteorological Service is indicating that a flash flood watch remains in effect for low-lying and flood-prone areas of the island until 5:00 pm on Friday dur to the effects of a broad trough generating unstable weather in sections of the western Caribbean.
Parishes incorporated in the flash flood watch include St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth and Westmoreland.