Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, has underscored the important role which genetic application must play in advancing Jamaica’s agricultural outputs.
Speaking at a plant nutrition seminar at the Ministry’s research station at Bodles, St. Catherine, on April 24, Mr. Clarke said sector stakeholders are now cognisant of the fact that, increasingly, science and technology “must play a critical role in agricultural development."
He noted that this involves more than merely applying fertilizer to plants, which has, in some instances, yielded minimal results.
“The reason for this is that you have not looked at the whole gamut of the operations, inclusive of the genetics…the quality plants that you put in…and similarly with animals. We are moving to a higher level, a new dimension. We are talking now about genetics and how the plants respond, because of the genetic base,” the Minister said.
The seminar, held under the theme: ‘System Biology and Epigenetics’, was staged by the Ministry in collaboration with United States-based plant nutrition research firm, Stoller International Corporation, and St. Catherine-based agricultural distributor, St. Jago Farm Supplies Limited.
It featured presentations by Stoller’s Research Director, Dr. Albert Liptay, who spoke on: The cutting edge technology of system biology in developing products, and the principles of epigenetics in regulating plant hormones and genes for increased productivity.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter