Agriculture Ministry to draft drought mitigation plan

A drought mitigation plan is being crafted by the Ministry of Agriculture to help farmers deal with the effects of the decline in rainfall. 

The Ministry has confirmed that farming areas in several parishes have been affected by the drought conditions. 

JC Hutchinson, Minister without portfolio in the Agriculture Ministry, outlined some of the hard hit communities - such as "South St. Elizabeth, South Manchester, parts of Clarendon, parts of St. Catherine and St. Thomas" - during an interview with RJR News Wednesday night.

“We are looking at putting together a drought mitigation programme to see how best we can help these farmers in this situation. We are looking at black tanks and drip houses to see how we can best assist them in this way,” he said.  

Earlier this week, Lenworth Fulton, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, told RJR News that about $1 billion is needed to help farmers cope with the effects of the worsening dry spell.

The Government has allocated $100 million for the trucking of water to areas affected by the dry spell.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness when he addressed the House of Representatives on Tuesday regarding the water situation in the Corporate Area. 

He said the authorities have also supplied more than 500 water tanks. 

Wednesday's readings from the National Water Commission (NWC) showed the Mona Reservoir at 27 per cent of capacity and the Hermitage Dam at 33 per cent.


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