Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit says the World Bank funded Dominica Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project has provided numerous benefits to the farmers and fisher folk of Dominica.
This project was implemented post Hurricane Maria in 2017 to assist the farmers and fisher folk, both of which were severely impacted by the hurricane.
Prime Minister Skerrit, who was addressing Parliament on Monday, October 26 2020, says the implementation of the World Bank project pushed farmers to return to the farms post Hurricane Maria.
“What we have done for these farmers in terms of providing cash to them after Hurricane Maria caused farmers to get back to their farms very quickly. And even when we saw covid-19, we did not only provide support to many farmers, but we provided cash to these farmers to help them with the farm labor so that they continue to provide for themselves and their families,” Prime Minister Skerrit stated.
The Prime Minister says that the project has provided technical support for farmers around the island.
“Under this programme, farmers are receiving inputs, farmers are receiving cash, and farmers are receiving technical support. They will also be receiving implements and small equipment. Here was a delay in this, which is the only complaint I’ve gotten so far. But my understanding is that this has been dealt with and the farmer will be receiving those implements and equipment,” the Prime Minister explained.
Direct cash support was also provided to boat owners so that they could upgrade and enhance their vessels.
“We had indicated we would buy two ships but it was very difficult to get the appropriate ships that we required. But what did we do? We provided direct cash support to the existing boat operators in Dominica to allow them to upgrade their vessels to allow them to introduce refrigeration in their vessels and this has helped dramatically in the preservation of the agricultural produce going across the oceans into the other islands and so forth. So while we did not get the ships, we spent the monies on improving and enhancing the existing fleets of private ships that we had, and we felt that was the way to go,” Prime Minister Skerrit added.