Over 5000 fisherfolk from across the country will benefit from a one-off $150,000 cash grant as an immediate step by the Government to assist them in offsetting some of the rising expenses associated with their trade.
President Irfaan Ali announced the assistance initiative this afternoon and explained that the government has already put systems in place to assist the country’s fisheries sector.
The President said although the fishing industry has been turning around, his government is cognizant of the fact that all is still not well.
“We are going to help you with a one-off grant of $150,000. This is an immediate step that we are taking, to make a direct transfer to you to assist you in addition to all that we are doing to expand the industry,” the President announced.
Mr. Ali noted that it is important that the fishing industry gets on board as the country looks to be the food supply hub of the Caribbean.
“Similarly, we want to expand with the use of technology, opportunities that deal with the production of prawns, opportunities to expand the brackish water shrimp industry and the government has agreed that we are going to procure equipment to help you with the capital cost to help you develop these ponds so that we can help you to increase your production,” President Ali told the fisherfolk folks gathered in region 3 today.,
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha said the government will be forging deeper partnerships with fisher folks across the country in an effort to preserve the industry that has been facing several challenges in recent years and one which has been contributing to the country’s economy both at the family and national levels.
“Although the President has made this one-off grant to the fisher folks we will still continue to work with you all, to work in other areas for example aquaculture and to work to see how we can help out fisher folks to supplement their income with other areas in the Agriculture sector,” the Agriculture Minister promised.
The Government in recent months has introduced several measures to assist with the rising cost of living and rising prices of fertilizer and other commodities. In instances, where taxes were removed, consumers still complain the benefits have not been passed down to them.