Storm damage in agriculture sector not complete

Agriculture Minister Arthur Nibbs (OBSERVER media photo)
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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – It has been a week since the passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo and the damage associated with the storm is still being calculated.

Gonzalo tore roofs from homes, downed power lines and uprooted trees last Monday. And, the agriculture sector, one of the hardest hit is among several sectors calculating its losses.

Agriculture Minister Arthur Nibbs told OBSERVER media extension officers are still on the ground dialoguing with farmers on various parts of the island to get a view- point of how they were affected by the storm. A detailed assessment, he said will be ready some time this week.

“In a matter of a week we should be able to give a preliminary assessment of the damage, that report will tell us what we need to do and of course the Ministry will be intervening and making sure that we can grant assistance to the farmers,” Nibbs said.

Nibbs, who is also the parliamentary representative for Barbuda, said the sister island suffered a similar fate as recorded on the mainland.

“It is a matter of trees being blown down and so on we are also doing an assessment on our farms,” Nibbs said.

Gonzalo, which dumped about an inch or rainfall on the island, destroyed mostly vegetable crops.

According to agriculture officials, vegetable crops such as corn, banana, avocado and sweet peppers were destroyed.

They also warn the crop devastation will likely lead to shortage of some vegetables and fruits.

The National Officer of Disaster Services (NODS), is also expected to provide a detail assessment to minister with responsibilities for national disasters, Samantha Marshall.

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