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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Donovan Stanberry has said that the Ministry will continue to support the efforts of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), as it seeks to continue to develop the sector.
Mr. Stanberry was speaking at RADA’s 20th Anniversary Church Service, held at the Ocho Rios Baptist Church on Sunday, August 29.
“Over the years RADA has grown into an institution that we can be justly proud of. Despite the many challenges faced, the extension service has survived and has been the vanguard in the Ministry of Agriculture,” Mr. Stanberry said, adding that agriculture in Jamaica could not survive without a strong extension service.
He pointed out that the Ministry was working assiduously to ensure that measures were being put in place to strengthen the extension service so that RADA and the farmers it serves could achieve the best results.
“We have taken steps in the last couple of years to strengthen the extension service; we have increased the numbers considerably, we have reintroduced extension in certain areas such as livestock and animal husbandry, we have bolstered our marketing capacity, and armed our extension officers with the kind of technology that they need in order to execute their work efficiently and I am happy to say it has paid good dividend,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary expressed appreciation to the staff of RADA for remaining committed to the cause, and urged them to continue to carry out their duties professionally.
Meanwhile, RADA’s Board Chairman, Mr. Patrick Lawrence noted that in celebrating the 20-year milestone, a series of activities have been planned by RADA, the first of which was ‘RADA Day’, which was held on August 1 at the Denbigh Agricultural Show in Clarendon.
“We will continue our celebrations on September 22, with an Agricultural Symposium at the Assembly Hall at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus where leading persons in the field of agriculture speaking to the issue of what we can do to make agriculture better and by extension the whole question of our food security,” he informed.
On September 24 there will be a farmers’ appreciation day across the island, and on December 16 an awards banquet,” will be held.
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It is the island’s chief agricultural extension and rural development agency.

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