Five hundred thousand dollars has been earmarked to increase productivity through the Ministry of Agriculture’s Support to Horticulture Programme.
While addressing the House of Parliament at the most recent sitting, the Hon Minister for Agriculture, Johnson Drigo, informed that this half a million dollar cash injection is aimed at improving productivity and increasing domestic and export food supply.
These funds are in addition to the 2015/2016 budgetary allocation of $10m to the agriculture sector in the form of a line of credit at the AID Bank.
The Minister explained that the Support to Horticulture Programme is aimed at providing inputs and technical support to farmers with the aim of achieving increased productivity, increased income activity and improved competitiveness.
Hon Drigo outlined the expectations of the expansion of the programme.
“The horticulture programme targets its projection for 2016. We are expected under that programme to establish 478 acres of dasheen, 60 acres of ginger, 65 acres of Irish potatoes, 80 acres of passion fruit, 108 acres of pineapples, 212 acres of plantain, 250 acres of sweet potatoes, tanias, cucumbers and yams just to name a few.”
The Agriculture Minister is confident that Government is doing its part to keep the industry thriving.
Hon Drigo stressed that all these initiatives taken by Government to create opportunities for farmers signal the forward thinking approach for the continued growth of the industry.
He believes that farmers should be encouraged by these efforts.