Some 3,932 qualified farmers who were affected by Hurricane Maria are expected to benefit from an Agricultural Emergency Response Grant.
A contract was signed with the Dominica Agricultural Industrial & Development Bank (AID Bank) on Thursday which will be administering the grant to the farmers on the behalf of the government.
Nine hundred commercial farmers will receive EC$10,000 each and 3,032 farmers will receive EC$3,000 each from the World Bank-funded programme.
Agriculture Minister, Johnson Drigo, described the grant as a “short-term mobilization response to the negative impact of Hurricane Maria to the farming community.”
“Farmers and fishers may have a ready source of funds to be used for the restoration of crops and livestock production and fishing operation,” he said.
He said the program will buffer “short-term loss of income” suffered by farmers.
“And therefore allow farmers, fishers to have reasonable funds to facilitate their business operation recovery effort,” Drigo said.
He explained that 900 commercial farmers will be awarded a fixed grant of EC$10,000 per beneficiary while 3,032 small commercial beneficiaries will be awarded grants of EC$,3,000.
“Farmers and fishers who have not met the above criteria will be given an amount of $1,000 per beneficiary,” Drigo stated.
He thanked farmers who have returned to their farms since the hurricane.
“Your efforts have ensured that there is an adequate supply of short-term crops and vegetables and of course if you visit our markets, our markets are blooming with the short term crops and vegetables,” he stated.
The grant is worth EC$18,817,400 and is provided by the World Bank under the Disaster Vulnerability Response Project.