With eight acres of papayas ready for harvesting, St Elizabeth farmer Omar Ramsamugh was all set for a merry Christmas. That was until the elements, it would seem, conspired to wipe out his bumper crop, dealing him a severe financial blow.
Ramsamugh’s farm in Slipe was one of those visited by Agriculture Minister Floyd Green and executives of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority on Saturday for an assessment of the losses to the agricultural sector caused by weeks of extensive rainfall.
With an excellent crop coming on, Ramsamugh was banking on the usual Christmas demand to really pay off since the COVID-19 pandemic occasioned a dramatic fall in sales to his main market – the tourism sector.
When his eight-acre farm with a planting density of 1,000 plants per acre was recently hit by adverse weather, it took down more than half the trees. Those remaining upright were at risk of being lost as the rains continue.