The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands (MEYSAL) with support of the Department of Agriculture (DoA,) has announced the extension of the Cayman Islands Farmers Assistance and Relief Measures (CI FARM) programme launched back in December 2020. The opportunity for local farmers to apply for funding has been extended to June 2021.
Expounding on the reasoning behind the programme’s extension, Minister for Agriculture, Hon, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly explained, “The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to have negative effects to all sectors on a global scale. Locally, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic has contributed to produce loss and losses in revenue. This loss of produce would have significantly impacted full time farmers and part time farmers who have lost their primary source of income.”
Earlier in January during an application drive hosted by MEYSAL and DoA in Cayman Brac, Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly had also expressed how happy she was that a significant number of local farmers had taken advantage of the opportunity to increase their capacity to yield greater quantities of high-quality produce and livestock.
Since its launch over 500 farmers have benefitted from the programme designed to provide economic relief to the local farming community whom were negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Each successful applicant receives a voucher card to purchase seeds, fertilisers and other essential agricultural inputs from the Department of Agriculture. The progamme is implemented by the DOA with funding and oversight provided by MEYSAL
Minister O’Connor-Connolly further added, “Through continued investment in infrastructural and agricultural enhancement projects such as this, we will strengthen the resilience of the farming sector which ultimately benefits and improves the lives of all local residents.”
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.