JIS News

As the parish of Manchester seeks to pursue other economic opportunities, following the downturn in bauxite production, General Manager of the Christiana Potato Growers Association, Alvin Murray, is emphasising that agriculture can boost prosperity in the parish.
He cited the many untapped areas in the agricultural sector where persons can earn a viable living, while addressing a seminar on July 22, put on by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Social Development Commission (SDC), at the Golf View Hotel, in Mandeville.
“Even after mining, we are saying that the environment is still good, the wind, the air, and anywhere in Manchester that you think of, it has the ideal condition for a greenhouse, and with a greenhouse, you use 10 times less land,” he told the large gathering.
He pointed to the vast wealth that can be generated from tissue farming, an area that it is not plagued by pests as in others. “My hope for Manchester is for us to put the hillside into fruit crops, all the fruit crops than you can think of. In the mined out areas, use them to store water, put up the small greenhouses, and Manchester will be back to prosperity,” Mr. Murray said.
Meanwhile, Parish Manager for the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Donald Robinson, informed that an open door policy exists at the Authority to assist new players entering the agro sector, and that existing players are expanding their production.
“I am certain that by the number of visits and calls we have been getting at RADA, that agriculture does have a role in this parish, in keeping the economy afloat. There are a number of farmers at all levels who are expanding their production, and we are providing the technical services to improve their productivity,” he said.
The seminar was held under the theme: ‘Life After Bauxite’. Seminars will be held quarterly, and are sponsored by the National Commercial Bank (NCB).

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