JIS News

Minister of Agriculture Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said that extension officers are to undergo retraining and recertification to maintain high levels of service to farmers.
“I therefore encourage farmers to partner with RADA(Rural Agricultural Development Authority) to get better yields, better productivity and enjoy better living standards,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Minister was speaking at the handing over of water tanks and irrigation systems to small farmers in St Catherine on Wednesday (June 11).
These were the second group of farmers in the country to receive these systems. Others, who are outside the National Irrigation Commission’s(NIC) belt, will also receive irrigation systems, shortly.
Dr. Tufton told the farmers that his ministry had the capability to get from the markets the information they needed, and would be driving production based on market needs and not speculation.
He said the more sophisticated water and fertilizer application system that the black tank system offered, along with the Ministry’s marketing information and technical support from highly trained extension officers, would help to position the farmers to drive agricultural production in Jamaica.
Under the Black Tank Project, fifty 1,000 gallon polyethylene tanks, drip tapes and stands will be distributed to small farmers at a cost of about $60,000.00 per system. Farmers will repay some $30 000.00 over a two year period. The balance will be a subsidy.
The National Irrigation Commission will provide training and RADA the technical support.

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