PM urges farmers to get on the cutting edge


Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that farmers must be on the cutting edge to remain viable in a market driven largely by quality and competition from others players.
Delivering the main address at the official opening of the Hounslow Research Centre and Demonstration Plot, St. Elizabeth on Saturday, October 24, Mr. Golding stressed that all aspects of agricultural activity must provide wealth for the farmers. He added that the new thrust of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is to provide the opportunity for farmers to deliver quality produce in the most efficient manner.
“We are saying to farmers that there are better ways to do what you are doing, there are more efficient ways of producing your crops where you use less inputs, produce more and make more money,” the Prime Minister told the audience.
He added that much of what was done in the past by agricultural producers must now give way to a type of farming which, is seen as an avenue to achieve wealth.
“We want to see agriculture as an avenue to create wealth, and it can be done. But, it has to be in a way of new thinking and approach to agriculture. We are doing it with greenhouse technology, with every new technology that can be applied to Jamaica,” the PM stated.
The Prime Minister called on users of irrigated water to use it as efficiently as other agriculture ingredients, as it is costly to produce water and, with better management, farmers could help to save on the cost pumping water to the users.
“Most of the water that we use, whether for domestic purposes or for irrigation, it is underground water; pumps are expensive, the oil to drive the pumps is expensive, therefore, water has to be seen in the same way that you look at fertilizer,” he said.
“We have to make sure that we bring our farmers into this new framework of scientific approach, so that they can understand how they can use these resources and use them more extensively and more profitable, and that is what this facility is all about,” he emphasised.
The Hounslow Research Centre, operated by the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), consists of a demonstration plot with the objective of investigating different pressurized systems and improved technology so that farmers produce more economically and efficiently.

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