The Dominica Government says it will respond to concerns of farmers for improved farm access roads in a systematic and cost effective way.
Poor farm access roads in various parts of the country and lack of transport make it difficult for farmers to get their produce to the market.
The country’s leader Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit in a recent interview with GIS news said that two million dollars have been allocated to developing farm access roads in the country.
He said however that repair to farm access roads has to be done in a strategic way.
“ Those areas where there are no farmers cannot be given priority over areas where there are infact serious farmers. I am not going to be doing any farm access road where people will tell me if we do the road they will go and farm. If you want us to do the road you have to come up with a proper investment plan. We have had bad experiences in the past where people have come to us and told us if you do the road for us we will go and plant and there has not been anything planted”.
The Prime Minister has advised the Ministry of Agriculture to conduct an inventory to determine which farmers are legitimate and productive and require access to their farms.
“I have asked the Ministry of Agriculture to provide the Cabinet with information on how many farmers are in the area, what are they planting, what is the acreage, so that there can be proper justification for it. We do not have the required funds to address all the farm access roads, so you have to use the two million dollars properly which will be to the greater benefit to the vast majority of farmers”.
The Prime Minister said his Government is committed to assisting serious farmers.
“ There are serious farmers who have serious difficulty in getting to their farms and what we are doing is to help those farmers who are serious. There are serious farmers in the Carholm area, Café, Calibishie and various parts of the country”.