South Manchester to resume irish potato production


Farmers in the southern section of Manchester will be embarking on a project to re-establish irish potato production, through collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).
At a sensitisation forum organised by the JAS Wednesday (October 27) at the Betharbara Primary and Junior High School, Manager of the Christiana Potato Growers Association, Alvin Murray, told the gathering that Jamaica is only supplying a fraction of local market demand.
Mr. Murray said that irish potato production in South Manchester was a big thing until the farmers stopped planting, because they couldn’t get seeds. But, with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture and RADA, as well as assistance from overseas, the seeds can now be produced in Jamaica.
“Farmers must remember that proper site preparation is very important for irish potato production, pastured lands must be ploughed, cross ploughed, refined properly to get rid of the bugs and insects that do damage to the potatoes,” he cautioned.
Manager for the Manchester Parish Development Committee, Sam Miller, said that it is a good time for agriculture, and the farmers must grasp the opportunity.
“Farmers are now more excited, and they are most important people. Everybody has to eat – no shortage of land is in Manchester for agriculture, learn and reap, agriculture can give great rewards,” he said.
Manchester Parish Manager for the JAS, Neville Burrell, told JIS News that mined out lands in the area will be part of the effort.
“We are trying to put back these lands in the hands of the farmers. A number of agencies and the banks that are offering soft loans will be on board. I say to the farmers, come on board, we will be doing capacity building to sensitize the farmers as to the way forward,” he argued.

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