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Poultry project farmers in EC$15,000 pay-out

Poultry project farmers in EC$15,000 pay-out


Twenty-five poultry farmers from the South Central Windward constituency on Tuesday received their first major pay-out from a project launched in July.{{more}}

EC$15,000 was paid out to the farmers at a short ceremony, held at the New Grounds Farmers’ market.

The project, which is the brainchild of area representative and Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar, offers farmers 50 per cent of the money generated from the sale of the poultry.

Farmers’ utility bills are automatically paid from the income generated and the remaining cash is paid to them.

The remaining 50 per cent is re-invested in the purchasing of birds and feed for the next cycle.

Natesha Fisher, one of the farmers who collected her earnings said she has no regrets getting on board with the initiative.

“The project is a very good one, because it shows that farming is not only about banana or just planting the ground. We can also benefit, as you can see, from poultry, and this helps out a lot of parents a lot, by having their bills paid without worrying about where they will get the money from to do that.

“I hope this project continues,” she added.

Another farmer, Carlos Pitt, told SEARCHLIGHT that it was a great feeling to be reaping the benefits from his hard work over the past two months, “without any problems of payment.

“I am very thankful for it, because this is going to go a long way in helping me with my bills and still have something left over,” he said.

Presently, there are 70 active poultry pens being operated by farmers of the constituency, who are a part of the project.

Meanwhile, Caesar said Tuesday’s pay-out was significant because of the amount of cash farmers received.

“$15,000 divided among those persons, we’re seeing an average of $500 to $600 per person and the money directed to their utility bills,” he said.

In the initial stages of the project, Caesar had said that consideration would be given to gender issues to ensure that there is no gender bias and to seek to ensure that women farmers, as well as men, benefit from the project in a substantial way.

He therefore stated that he is pleased to see that both male and female farmers are engaged in the project.

“It’s overwhelming. You have several young women and men who have their own chicken pens and are earning an honest living through farming.

“And also, farmers who have been adversely affected by the fallout in the banana industry because of Hurricane Tomas and the black sigatoka disease are benefiting substantially,” he added.

Funding for the project was obtained from several organizations, locally and internationally. The Grenadines Partnership Fund facilitated the start-up of the project. The first phase of the project is estimated to cost US$51,000. (AA)