(CMR) Agriculture in Cayman Brac could see a major increase soon as over 70 Cayman Brac farmers applied for assistance from the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport, Agriculture, and Lands (MEYSAL) to increase their production.
The farmers turned out at the Department of Agriculture building last week to apply for assistance under the MEYSAL COVID-19 Farmers' Assistance Programme, increasing the current number of applications received to over 350 farmers.
Minister of Agriculture Juliana O'Connor-Connolly expressed her delight at the turnout.
“I am encouraged that so many of our local farmers have taken advantage of this opportunity to increase their capacity to yield greater quantities of high-quality produce and livestock,” O'Connor-Connolly stated.
Several grant recipients, including Ashton Ferguson, lauded the initiative, expressing appreciation to the Ministry for the opportunity to enhance their backyard farming enterprises and increase the availability of safe, nutritious food within their communities.
“I certainly believe that eating what you grow and growing what you eat creates a healthy environment and provides persons with the opportunity to provide for themselves during these uncertain times. It truly is a great initiative,” Ferguson said.
The applications were processed on-site over a two-day period. Each successful applicant received a voucher card to purchase seeds, fertilizers, and other essential agricultural items from the Department of Agriculture.
The program, which commenced in December, was developed to stimulate increased agricultural activity by providing one million dollars in funding for farmers to use towards the purchase of products and services from the Department of Agriculture.
People who wish to learn more about the COVID-19 Farmers' Assistance Programme or who wish to apply for the farmers' assistance grant may contact MEYSAL Deputy Chief Officer Wilbur Welcome at 926-3146 or Senior Policy Advisor Demoy Nash at 927-0753.