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Not enough allocated to agriculture – Matthews

Not enough allocated to agriculture – Matthews

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Opposition spokesman on Agriculture Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews is unhappy with the amount allocated in the supplementary estimates for agriculture, saying the $2.8 million is too little to impact on the sector.{{more}}

Matthews, in his presentation to this week’s debate, said he was concerned that farmers were already feeling pressure before the devastating floods. He said the farmers are ready with ideas and remain enthusiastic, as seen by recent Ministry of Agriculture engagement and the NDP’s “successful series of consultations on agriculture.” He noted that the Minister indicated that the allocation was just a start and he hopes the Ministry would provide additional support.

Matthews bemoaned the lack of provision in the estimates for fisherfolk who were affected by the flood, many losing nets, other equipment and storage huts.

The North Leeward representative, whose constituency was one of the hardest hit areas, congratulated the agencies and companies which worked to restore some normalcy to the area, including CWSA, BRAGSA, VINLEC, Rudy’s Electrical, which provided assistance to VINLEC, the Red Cross, and C.K. Greaves and Coreas.

He, however, expressed disappointment in the relief distribution process, and questioned if there was political influence. He told Parliament he saw mattresses, stoves and fridges given to persons who suffered no damage during the distribution process in Petit Bordel, while he knew flood victims who have not received support.

Five lives were lost in North Leeward and roads and bridges suffered extensive damage. It was the last area to have electricity and water restored.

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