Grenada Gov't helps nutmeg farmers with million dollar grant
A one-million-dollar grant has been provided to the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) to be used for price support payments for farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell in a statement said his government did this in recognition of the plight of the farming community, particularly cocoa and nutmeg farmers with the sale of produce interrupted by the pandemic.
The money will not be used to fund the administrative expenses of the Nutmeg Association.
The Grenada PM said the government recognised the financial viability of the GCNA was under serious threat without the ability to export to the European markets and required this urgent injection of capital from the State.
Earlier this month the also GCNA purchased nutmegs from farmers and the association is facing an inventory build-up.
It is required to pay for produce even though there are no sales on the international market.
Dr Mitchell pointed out that the situation has forced the GCNA to use increased overdraft facilities to continue the purchase of nutmeg and mace.
PM Mitchell said in light of the financial limitations of the GCNA and its inability to continue buying product without an available market, the Cabinet agreed to provide the much-needed support for farmers.
The government said it will continue to examine ways to bring relief to those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that over the years it has lent support to the commodity boards and has supported cocoa and nutmeg farmers over the years.
However, Dr Mitchell said the government has also consistently advised the associations that it cannot be business as usual.
He stated the structure must be changed to one that is more business-oriented and capable of sustaining the livelihood of farmers, even in the midst of challenges, whether it’s a pandemic or a drop in price.
In addition to the grant, the Government has also proposed a loan of two million dollars million to the GCNA.
The terms and conditions of both the grant and loan will be negotiated between the GCNA and a Cabinet sub-committee.