St Mary farmers left with $360-m billMonday, September 13, 2021
BY HORACE MILLS
PORT MARIA, St Mary — Farmers in this parish are estimated to have lost crops valued at more than $360 million last month due to Tropical Storm Grace that made landfall here, as well as the subsequent heavy rainfall associated with a tropical wave.
It is estimated that the storm affected 265 farmers, while the rainfall left 419 counting losses, according to Dr Dalion Robinson-White of the St Mary offices of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Presenting a report at a session of the St Mary Municipal Corporation last Thursday, Dr Robinson-White noted that her officers are still assessing the damage.
“We are not sure what kind of assistance will be rendered (to farmers affected by the tropical storm), but we have provided the report to the minister [of agriculture],” she said.
Dr Robinson-White, in elaborating on the impact of the tropical storm, stated that five main crops suffered extensive damage in the parish.
She said the storm ravaged 38.26 hectares of banana, 50.26 hectares of plantains, 17.86 hectares of fruits, 27 hectares of vegetable, and 12.5 hectares of condiments such as peppers.
“Other crops were damaged, but they weren't that significant, but we still add them in our numbers,” Dr Robinson-White further noted.
She, in the meantime, explained that the heavy rainfall damaged 6.4 hectares of vegetable, 3.4 hectares of condiments, two hectares of cereal, and two hectares of sweet potatoes.
“In terms of the heavy rain, what we found is that the problem that we had most… was fungal issues. Normally, once we have a lot of rain, we tend not to have a parasite issue, but we tend to now have fungal issues,” Dr Robinson-White explained.
She named several communities where a number of farms were battered either by the tropical storm or by the heavy rains.
They include Robin's Bay, Greencastle, Islington, Bernard, Albion, Ramble, Mango Valley, Friendship Hall, Huddersfield, Green Castle, Esher, Cane Heap, Albany, Wellington, Coloraine, Nutsfield, Lewisburg, Eden Hill, Fontabelle, George Town, Enfield, Long Road, Camberwell, Aleppo, Clarke Castle, Lewisburg, Eden Hill, New Road, Warwick Castle, Goshen, Derry, New Pen, Lucky Hill, Salisbury, and Bagnold Spring.