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$200 million damage to agricultural sector from TS Ian

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr. has disclosed that damage to the agricultural sector by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ian is more than $200 million.

Mr Charles says assistance will be provided to affected farmers.

He says he's awaiting a breakdown to complete the assessments to determine how best to give support to those persons who have been affected.

Mr Charles stressed that the damage to the sector is another reminder that farmers must be resilient against shocks, as many who implemented "resilient operations" were spared losses.

With the quadrupling of Jamaica's pig population over the last decade the Agriculture Minister is hopeful that farmers will soon be able to meet and exceed the demand for pork in the local market.

Mr Charles, while encouraging farmers recently to continue on the path of growth, said there is still work to be done and wants youngsters to join the sector.

Reiterating that farming is a viable alternative to crime, he stressed that it is not just an option that people take as a side business, but if done well, can provide a sound livelihood.

Mr Charles was speaking at the 20th Jamaica Pig Farmers Association meeting held at the Bridge Palm Hotel recently.