Agricultural Aides to Assist with Registration of Farmers

Photo: Melroy Sterling Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon J.C. Hutchinson (left), in discussion with former Mayor of Morant Bay, Councillor Ludlow Mathison, at the launch of a Production and Marketing Organisation (PMO) parish group for St. Thomas, held at the Village Green Restaurant, in Morant Bay, on May 10.

Story Highlights

  • The Government is moving to make it easier for farmers to register with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon J.C. Hutchinson, says members of production and marketing organisations (PMOs) will be trained to become agricultural aides to assist extension officers with the registration of farmers.
  • He cited farmer registration and the marketing of produce as two of the main issues affecting the agricultural industry, and told the gathering that they will be given more focus through the new structures in the PMOs.

The Government is moving to make it easier for farmers to register with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon J.C. Hutchinson, says members of production and marketing organisations (PMOs) will be trained to become agricultural aides to assist extension officers with the registration of farmers.

He was addressing the launch of the St. Thomas PMO at the Village Restaurant, in Morant Bay, on May 10.

Mr. Hutchinson explained that agricultural aides will also be able to examine crops that are damaged and report to extension officers within a day during a natural disaster.

The Minister stressed that agricultural aides will not be paid, noting that many persons in farm groups are currently functioning in those roles.

He said the Government is only formalising that system through training.

He cited farmer registration and the marketing of produce as two of the main issues affecting the agricultural industry, and told the gathering that they will be given more focus through the new structures in the PMOs.

St. Thomas is the first parish to have a grouping of PMOs representing the entire parish, and the Minister told the members that they are a legal entity under RADA. He urged the group to approach agencies for grant funding to repair community facilities.

Mr. Hutchinson outlined that the organisation will be an umbrella to provide leadership to the various groups in the parish.

Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Thomas, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who also addressed the gathering, pledged $300,000 towards the development of school gardens in the area.

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