Over 45 Farmers were devastated by fire which destroyed their farms in Flagaman, St. Elizabeth on August 16, 2019. Preliminary estimates from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) indicates that 200 acres of farm lands valued at $45M have been lost due to the fire that decimated crops to include watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, onion, scallion tomatoes and others. Irrigation systems such as drip hose, black tanks, 45 gallon drums and 50 acres of guinea grass which is essential for mulching were also burnt out during the fire.
Mr. Glenville Hall, RADA Zonal Director West, urged farmers to be careful and desist from clearing lands by the slash and burn method especially during this prolonged dry spell. The private truckers were commended for their speedy efforts to contain the fire during a meeting( held by a team from MICAF and RADA ) with the affected farmers on August 20, 2019.
Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, Minister Without Portfolio, MICAF pledged that the Ministry will assist through RADA to provide the farmers with grass, fertilizers, seeds, irrigation equipment and others necessary to ensure speedy recovery.