(CMR) The Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure (PAHI) has announced changes to the Cayman Islands Farmers’ Assistance and Relief Measures (CI FARM) program, effective Friday, May 28.
Members of the farming community were advised that no new applications were being accepted after May 28. However, persons who submitted applications before May 28 and pending approval will receive further assistance for one (1) month only.
Individuals who have been receiving grants will no longer receive additional credit on their voucher cards, except farmers registered with the Department of Agriculture before December 1, 2020. However, those with residual value on their cards will be able to purchase seeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs from the Department of Agriculture up until November 30, 2021.
Minister of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure, Hon. Jay Ebanks has stated that he is actively reviewing the agriculture sector and the resources needed to modernize the sector to enhance food and nutrition security.
“The Ministry will be adjusting the level of assistance to deliver more benefits to the various sub-sectors to stimulate agricultural growth, strengthen and improve productivity, storage, and other capacities,” he emphasized.
CI FARM was launched in December 2020 to provide economic support to the local farming community negatively affected by the COVID-19.
Since its inception, over 1200 farmers have benefitted from the relief measures. The initiative was implemented by the Department of Agriculture with funding and oversight provided by the Ministry of PAHI.