Over 70 Cayman Brac farmers turned out at the Department of Agriculture building at the Agricultural Grounds on Thursday (21 January) and Friday (22 January) to apply for assistance under the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport, Agriculture and Lands (MEYSAL) COVID 19 Farmers' Assistance Programme, increasing the current number of applications received to over 350 farmers.
Minister of Agriculture Honourable 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," Minister O'Connor-Connolly stated.
Several grant recipients, including Mr. Ashton Ferguson, lauded the initiative, expressing appreciation to the Ministry of EYSAL 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," Mr. Ferguson commented.
During the two days, applications were processed on-site. Each successful applicant received a voucher card to purchase seeds, fertilisers, and other essential agricultural inputs from the Department of Agriculture.
The programme 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.
To learn more about COVID 19 Farmers' Assistance Programme or apply for the farmers' assistance grant, contact MEYSAL Deputy Chief Officer Wilbur Welcome at 926-3146 or Senior Policy Advisor Demoy Nash at 927-0753.