JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has lauded farmers in Manchester for sticking to best practices resulting in increased yields from their crops.
The Minister, who was addressing a town hall meeting at Little Ochi Conference Room, Alligator Pond, Manchester, on Thursday (June 3), cited data which showed the parish accounting for 18 per cent of national agricultural produce production.
“The Ministry is proud of the hard work and the results that have come from this parish. Last year, you had a 23 per cent increase in acreages of produce that you put into the ground. In terms of food reaped, you had a 25 per cent increase over the previous year,” Dr. Tufton said.
“You have had a higher increase in the volumes reaped and, what that means, you are getting more out of the land that you are cultivating. It is called production improvement and it suggests that you are doing some things better than you were doing before, and that is what we want. Productivity improvement is critical to sustaining the agricultural sector,” he stated.
The parish has over 15,000 farmers registered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). The major crops that have seen significant increase in yield are Irish potato, onions, sweet potato and yams.
Dr. Tufton told the gathering that over $190 million has been spent on five wells in the New Forrest and Duff House areas, to provide water to the farmers on that side of Manchester, and parts of St. Elizabeth. He noted that with the importance of infrastructure, two new wells are also to be drilled to provide more water for the farmers.

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