Consumers can expect an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables on the local market by the September month-end, thanks to the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) that recently distributed seedlings to farmers in Region Five.
This will likely result in the reduction of the high prices currently being charged for these fresh commodities, says Jagnarine Singh, Chief Executive Officer of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).
The floods of 2021, inundated hundreds of farms in all Administrative Regions. Hundreds of thousands of acres of farmlands were affected. Fortunately, some farms being used for other crops production were not affected, and for others, the floodwaters drained off quickly and farmers were able to plant crops. The limited supply of fruits and vegetables on the market resulted in high prices.
Extension Officers of NAREI had conducted assessments of affected farms across the country. Floodwaters have receded and with direction from the Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, NAREI has commenced distributing about $20M in planting materials and about $5M in small implements to affected farmers.
“Distributing planting materials, especially seedlings, to farmers is a jumpstart in the cultivation process. We recently distributed about 59,000 seedlings (sweet peppers, celery, and tomatoes) to farmers operating in several communities namely Naarstighed, Bath Settlement, Seafield, Belladrum and Mahaicony, Region Five. Shortly, we will distribute seedlings to farmers of Mahaica and surrounding communities,” Singh stated.
Farmers operating in other Regions will also receive seedlings, seeds, and fertilizer in addition to the financial flood relief assistance.