(PRESS RELEASE) – The Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada, is pleased to announce its financial support for the World University Service of Canada’s (WUSC Caribbean) Dominica Emergency Agricultural Recovery (DEAR) Project.
Canada’s Disaster Responsive Fund is providing XCD $350,000 to the project, which will support the rehabilitation of Dominica’s domestic ‘Irish’ potato crop. WUSC Caribbean, working in collaboration with the Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and with additional support from private donors, will provide the following support to potato farmers that have been affected by Hurricane Maria:
· A 20 foot container of elite potato seed varieties is being imported from Canada in early December, 2017 (the seed varieties had previously been successfully grown under trials supported by the PROPEL project, implemented by WUSC Caribbean in Dominica with Canadian Government funding assistance);
· Support for land clearing and preparation of fields previously used by farmers for potato production, including the provision of two tillers to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries;
· Providing farmers with essential tools required for agricultural production to replace those lost during the hurricane;
· Providing farmers with the agricultural inputs (as approved by the Ministry) required to produce the potato crop; and
· Support in the form of technical support and training in collaboration with the Ministry agriculture extension service teams.
WUSC Caribbean has been implementing the Government of Canada funded Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project in Dominica over the past three years.
It will continue to provide support to the agriculture sector in Dominica through this CAD $20 million project, which aims to increase the value of Caribbean fresh produce accessing high-value markets in the Caribbean. PROPEL is working with private sector buyers, producers, business service providers and other market system actors to facilitate the safe, effective and efficient movement of fresh produce from the farm level to market.