Improving the Agricultural Sector
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- THE CRISIS IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
Currently over $100M is sitting in the bank account at Rural Agricultural Development Authority while the farmers languish.
The present administration decided that agriculture was to be one of the pillars of growth for the economy. To this end funds through RADA were sent directly to farmers’ organization which saw growth for 2016 of 12% in the 2nd quarter, 43% in the 3rd quarter and 14% in the 4th quarter.
Funds from RADA were then diverted to the Members of Parliament, including $100M which was allocated under the flood damage program to assist those farmers affected by the flood.
As a result of all funds going through Members of Parliament who have not spent the funds on a timely basis, production declined by 2½% in the first quarter of 2017. Production is estimated to decline by 13% for the quarter ending June 2017. RADA has a significant amount of fertilizer to assist farmers but the management of RADA has indicated that the instructions from the Portfolio Minister is not to distribute until he signs off on the distribution method.
We now petition the Most Honorable Prime Minister to intervene as the situation is untenable.
The funds/inputs must reach the farmers NOW if the sector is to rebound in the 4th quarter of this year and going forward.
Cash in RADA’s coffers cannot produce.
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