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Shaw urges farmers to practise climate-smart agriculture


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October 2018
 

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of H&L ,Olive Downer Walsh (left), converses with the Hon. Audley Shaw (centre), Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, at the National Irish Potato Sensitization Meeting, held in Christiana, Manchester, on October 4, 2018. Others from left are stakeholders Hedda Pitter, Business Development Manager, Newport-Fersan (Jamaica) Ltd; Hugh Gentles, Chairman, Potato and Onion Producers’ Association; and Odean Bradshaw, Marketing and Business Development Manager, H&L Agro.

Above Body

 05 Oct 2018    communications   

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Audley Shaw, is urging farmers to practise climate-smart agriculture to help grow the sector in a sustainable way.
“We are not taking advantage of climate-smart initiatives such as drip irrigation, which is one of the solutions, which, as government, we are going to find a way even to subsidize those who want to get into it,” said Minster Shaw.
“If we have the appropriate systems such as irrigation, Irish potato can be grown year round rather than the two times of year we do it now. People eat Irish potato year round. We have steady tropical conditions all year,” he stated.
The Minister further noted that some $100 million has been approved to provide productivity support for several crops, including Irish potato and onion. He made this disclosure while addressing stakeholders at the National Irish Potato Sensitization Meeting at Christ Church in Christiana, Manchester, on October 4.
The programme is part of Government’s overall strategy to enhance Jamaica’s food and nutrition capacity with the target of achieving full self-sufficiency.
Mr. Shaw noted that the demand for table Irish potatoes in Jamaica was 34 million pounds per year.
Minister Shaw also stated the need for more aggressive extension services and urged the Rural Agricultural Development Authority extension officers to be “out in the field on a regular basis”.
“Through the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, you will get extension aides, young persons who will get preliminary training to equip them to work alongside the extension officers in the field with farmers to improve their productivity,” he stated.
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