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Agriculture Ministry allocates $67 million to increase production among fisherfolk


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July 2020
 

Above Body

 27 Jul 2020    ICTAdmin   

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has allocated   $67 million to the fisheries sector through the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) to increase production among the country’s fisherfolk. Newly appointed Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Leslie Campbell, said the allocation was in response to the decline in the sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Noting that fish production had moved from 1,098.39 metric tonnes in March to 730.39 metric tonnes in April, Mr. Campbell said the funds would be used to provide fingerlings, fish feed and fishing equipment.

“The Authority has also proposed to procure and install 10 refrigerated containers (Reefers) at major fisheries facilities across the country,” Mr. Campbell added. He was speaking at the launch of the Promoting Community-Based Climate Resilience in the Fisheries Sector Project and sensitization meeting, at the Treasure Beach Sports Park in St. Elizabeth on Friday (July 27). Seed funding valued at J$15million will also be provided for financing new fisheries development projects. “These projects will facilitate the diversification of fisheries production, including the introduction of value-added fisheries products and services, targeting the export markets and, where possible, local substitution of imported fish product. The proposed intervention measures, although small, will greatly assist in recuperative efforts and boost economic activity for the sector,” he noted.

Funded by the World Bank to the tune of US$4.875million, the project’s objective is to increase the adoption of climate resilient practices among targeted fishing and fish farming communities in Jamaica and to safeguard them and the economy against the vagaries of climate change such as sea warming, sea level rise and storm surges. Mr. Campbell used the opportunity to urge fisherfolk to partner with the authorities in preserving the environment by adhering to the guidelines set out by the government to prevent overfishing. For his part, State Minister in the Ministry and Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Floyd Green, reiterated concerns to have the tax on marine fuel removed to propel fisherfolk to go further for “a more sizeable catch”.

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