JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A massive education programme on drought mitigation will be unfolded at this year’s Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show this weekend.
  • Chairman of the Denbigh Show Committee, Senator Norman Grant, told JIS News that a critical part of the education programme will be to implore farmers to stop using the slash and burn practice.
  • Mr. Grant said the public education exercise is a partnership between the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).

A massive education programme on drought mitigation will be unfolded at this year’s Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show, to be held from August 1 to 3.

Chairman of the Denbigh Show Committee, Senator Norman Grant, said that a critical part of the education programme will be to implore farmers to stop using the slash and burn practice to clear their land.

Mr. Grant, who is also President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), said the public education exercise is a partnership between the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the JAS, and will be a part of the innovative health and wellness hub at Denbigh.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on July 28, Senator Grant informed that the National Water Commission (NWC), and the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), will also be discussing  the current drought situation and educating farmers on water conservation methods.

“I’m using this opportunity to support the Government’s move to try and reduce the 40 per cent of our water we lose through leaks,” he said.

He further explained that the JAS will use Denbigh to intensify its call for more rainwater harvesting, investment in mini-dams, and the distribution of black tanks.

Senator Grant said the topic of dry farming, which is currently a method used by many farmers, especially in St. Elizabeth, will be explored to see what other areas across the island can adopt that farming practice.

He noted that this method has helped many farmers in St. Elizabeth, “and that parish alone produces over 25 per cent of our total domestic crop production.”

The JAS President also informed that there will also be discussions about the frequent fires across the island, which have helped to significantly compound the drought problem. He said recent bush fires in the Mavis Bank area of St. Andrew almost resulted in about 50 to 75 acres of coffee being lost.