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Story Highlights

  • Forty-six small farmers in Nain, St. Elizabeth, are now benefitting from a $9.3 million drip irrigation system, which will assist in enhancing their cultivation of vegetables and other crops.
  • The project was a joint undertaking involving the Government of Jamaica, World Bank, Alpart Community Council, and JSIF, through its Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI).
  • The system was commissioned into service by Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, during a ceremony in Nain on May 2.

Forty-six small farmers in Nain, St. Elizabeth, are now benefitting from a $9.3 million drip irrigation system, which will assist in enhancing their cultivation of vegetables and other crops.

The project was a joint undertaking involving the Government of Jamaica, World Bank, Alpart Community Council, and Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), through its Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

The system was commissioned into service by Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, during a ceremony in Nain on May 2.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Clarke lauded the stakeholders involved in the project’s implementation, while encouraging the beneficiaries to utilize the facility to enhance their engagements.

He listed increased crop yield and quality, decreased water cost, the prospects for significant profits, among the accruable benefits the farmers will gain from the system.

“There will also be decreased energy and labour costs as well as a decrease in fertilizer cost. This drip irrigation system…is expected to inhibit pest prevalence and improve (on matters of) environmental concerns. This project will go a far way in improving overall production, and the country’s food security,” Mr. Clarke added.

The Minister indicated that Jamaica’s agricultural production system is currently able to adequately satisfy local demand for foods and vegetables, adding that the Ministry has commenced the process of identifying additional overseas export markets.

“We are presently establishing a platform…in Miami to penetrate, not only the Diaspora, but the entire North American region. We also are dealing with a consortium out of the United Kingdom (UK) that visited us recently. This entity supplies about 700 entities in the UK and wants to source sweet potatoes from Jamaica… and we are going to satisfy these demands,” he informed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Clarke is urging farmers islandwide to assist the Ministry’s efforts to combat praedial larceny by registering with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and supporting measures implemented or being pursued to address this challenge.

“We are talking about traceability…(and) we are, therefore, putting (in) all kinds of checks and balances … as we focus on this problem (of praedial larceny). Everybody has to come on board to deal with the issue; cooperation is necessary,” Mr. Clarke underscored.