- Preparation is to begin immediately for the planting of Irish potato on 100 acres of land in the Plantain Garden River Agro-park in St. Thomas.
- All the inputs will be provided for the more than 20 active farmers in the park, with the delivery of seeds to be done within two weeks.
Preparation is to begin immediately for the planting of Irish potato on 100 acres of land in the Plantain Garden River Agro-park in St. Thomas.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, said all the inputs will be provided for the more than 20 active farmers in the park, with the delivery of seeds to be done within two weeks.
“We are also going to arrange that the potatoes will be marketed after harvesting,” the Minister assured.
Mr. Hutchinson met with the farmers on November 3, during a tour of the area, which was affected by recent heavy rains.
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will manage the process of assistance.
The Minister told the farmers that he is making life a little easier for them, since they had suffered from the loss of their onion crops, from which they have not recovered as yet.
He explained that potato-growing is a major thrust of the Government to achieve full self-sufficiency and stability by April 2017.
The Minister also agreed to a request from organic farmers to be included in the plan and has asked RADA to facilitate them in the Irish potato programme as well as to expand their operations.
“There are about 35 acres of land which is by itself and we have agreed to involve them in the programme. So, we will be providing them with seeds and the organic inputs and the market. They have also indicated that they will be sourcing their own markets as well,” Mr. Hutchinson said.
The agro-park initiative is aimed at modernising the country’s agricultural sector and increasing production, in order to reduce the import bill, and also to create employment.