The Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security will play a huge role in Dominica’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as the country strives to enhance its food security.

Prime minister of Dominica Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit announced that ten million EC dollars will be committed by the Government to fund assistance to farmers at all levels.

“We have dramatically increased budgetary funding to the Ministry of Agriculture, because what has been made clearer than ever before is the importance of enhancing our food security; and in improving export earnings from this sector. We are also committing to spend an additional 10 million EC dollars under the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC), of the Emergency Agriculture Livelihoods Project. Support will be provided to crop and livestock farmers. This will include the provision of planting materials, essential inputs such as fertilizer, small farming implements and animal feed. To assist with meeting the cost of farm labour and other direct costs, cash grants have been approved to approximately 2,500 individual crop farmers.  The amount of these grants is based on the size of the farmers holding. Farmers with small holdings will receive grants of EC$700, medium holdings EC$1,400 and large holdings EC$2,800.  This intervention is valued at EC$3.5 million.

We also have an ambitious seedlings program, as well as direct assistance to pork and poultry farmers,” Prime Minister Skerrit explained.

According to the Prime Minister, the Government of Dominica is purchasing produce directly from farmers noting that this produce will then be given to underprivileged families.

“We are confident that the interventions by the Government will help lower the food import bill, reduce household expenditure, improve dietary quality and increase sustainable employment.

We should also see higher export volumes and increased income for families. Residents are encouraged to produce as much as possible while Government is doing its part to ensure that there are markets available for the sale of your produce. We have also agreed to purchase fresh produce and fish from farmers and fishers who are prepared to sell directly to Government. Some of these produce will also be distributed to the most vulnerable in our communities. An amount of $3.0 million has been set aside to facilitate this programme,” the Prime Minister added.