Farmers of Good Hope have been assured that new measures and programmes have been set to develop the farming sector in their community.
Hon Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, has committed to the farmers of Good hope $100,000 to assist with the development of farming as a small business.
The Hon Prime Minister was speaking at a town hall meeting there on Wednesday and pledged a total of $200,000 towards small business development in Good Hope.
Of that amount, he pledged half to the farmers.
“I am committing $200,000 for small business development, but I want $100,00 to go to the farmers of Good Hope to provide you with the support you need to continue to farm, to continue to cultivate and to make a better way of life for your families and for your children.”
The farmers of the that community will also benefit from new contracts negotiated by the Government of Dominica with the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA).
Meantime, farmers of Good Hope will be the first to take advantage of a series of new programmes for farmers which are being launched by Government.
This announcement came from the Hon Parliamentary Representative for Castle Bruce and Minister for Agriculture, Johnson Drigo.
“The first community where we want to enter into yams and potatoes will be with you the farmers of Good Hope,” oHon Drigo explained, “We will be coming back to meet you very early next week and a representative of DEXIA, … will meet you here, we will have the contracts.”
The contracts already secured with DEXIA for the farmers through Government are for the sale of yams, potatoes and cucumbers.
Hon. Drigo assured the farmers that there are numerous incentives for them as part of the upgraded contracts.
“In the agreement, there are incentives; we will provide you with a consignment of fertilizer and some of the Round-Up you will need for clearing…”
The Hon mp, encouraged the farmers who will soon sign unto these contracts to be prepared to honour the agreements in order to consistently supply the established markets.
He explained to farmers that it is more important to secure established markets than to sell the produce otherwise only for a small increase in sale price.
“We expect you to stick to the agreement. One of the things we have had in the past is that we’ve had agreements with some of you and then when somebody pass who is giving 10 cents more you will sell all of the crops and then when DEXIA comes, they cannot get anything for the market it was intended for.
And when you plant for the export market, you may not get the price the huckster is giving you on the pick-up but we expect you to stick with this market because what you need is market for your crop.
He hopes that the contractual programmes will encourage farmers to produce more to sustain the current British market as well as secure lasting relationships with new U.S markets.
For farmers who may be hesitant to sign the contracts with DEXIA , the minister explained there have been upgrades within DEXIA’s system and that selling to DEXIA serves both the farmers and huckster.
The contractual farming programme expected to begin with the Good Hope farmers as of next week will eventually extend across the island.