“If the Seprod group were to carry out these decisions, hundreds of workers will lose their jobs and commercial life, and the transport sector and student education would be seriously impacted.” the Member of Parliament said.
It is against this background that Dr Ferguson is calling on the Seprod group, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to bring clarity to the situation and work along with stakeholders to develop options to cauterize this pending crisis.
He said scaling down of the operations and the closure of the facility will further plunge the struggling parish into an economic crisis and families and communities that are already facing hardship will be greatly impacted.
Dr Ferguson said this situation requires urgent response and that he is willing and able to meet and partner with all parties with a view to work towards a solution.
In the meantime, the PNP Shadow minister on Agriculture has welcomed news of the return of the stranded fishermen to Jamaican shores.
The men, some of who suffered injuries, were rescued by Colombians after their boat caught fire and was adrift for several days.
“The Government and people of Colombia and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith and her staff must be commended for the safe return of our fisher folks.” Dr Ferguson said.
He also extended best wishes to the men's families and communities whose prayers kept them safe.
Dr Ferguson said systems must be put in place to provide some level of protection for the nation's fisherfolk who literally put their lives at risk on a daily basis to keep the industry afloat and support their families.
“In my sectorial debate in Parliament in June 2018, when I spoke on a New Deal for Agriculture, I called on the government to establish in partnership - a Group Life Insurance and a Disaster Relief Fund for Fisherfolk and I use this opportunity to again make this special appeal.” the Shadow Minister said.
- Countries: Jamaica