JIS News

Sweet potato farmers in St. Ann are being exposed to training in sweet potato production, so as to improve the quality of the crop as well as to increase the level of production in the area.
Parish Manager for the St. Ann branch of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Pedro Worghs, told JIS News that the farmers came out in large numbers to access the training at a session that was held recently at the Moneague Anglican Church Hall.
“At present in this parish, we are pushing the production of sweet potato, because there is a great demand for the crop on the market and the price is reasonably good,” he said.
He pointed out that the farmers in the parish had always been involved in sweet potato production, noting that their crops were now being severely affected by the sweet potato weevil, which affects the tuber.
Mr. Worghs said many of the farmers were not cognizant of certain pest control techniques, “and so we have introduced them to the phermone trap and taught them how to make the trap at the training”. He informed that phermone was the female hormone of the weevil, and the trap would attract all the male pests when placed in the field.
“Once the males are lured to this trap, they will end up falling into water and will drown,” he explained.
He noted that other aspects of the training involved proper field sanitation and the selecting of potato slips, stressing that if the farmers applied what they learnt, they would be able to control the pest.
“It is evident that the training was well received, because farmers have been calling the RADA office to get the phermone in order to set up the traps in their fields.
It is our intention to conduct similar training sessions in the parish to promote the use of phermone and other Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, so that farmers can benefit from the production of sweet potato,”Mr. Worghs said.