The Keith Mitchell-led administration has increased the salary of Agriculture Assistance Extension Officers from $1000 to $1500 a month.
In making the announcement, Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Religious Affairs, Senator Winston Garraway said this is the first increase the workers have received since 1996.
Speaking to reporters at a recent post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex, Sen. Garraway said these Extension Officers have been working around the country, providing assistance and technical knowledge to farmers throughout the island.
“The salary that was given to them in 1996 is what they are receiving up to this day. As a government we felt this is not fair to them and I think we all have missed the boat in this regard.
“At this point in time, we have looked to regularise this or correct this anomaly and to ensure that the officers are in a place where they are remunerated adequately.
“It is one thing to talk about providing service to the people of this country, it’s another thing to be remunerated adequately…and we believe this hasn’t happened over the years and this will be fixed as of now.
Sen. Garraway noted that the number of years that the officers provided service to the country at the same salary on $1000 is what prompted government to grant the increase.
He said the government will be rolling out a new programme between January and July to ensure that the officers are prominently positioned.