JIS News

Farmers across the island are benefiting from a training programme in the proper use and maintenance of tractors and other technical equipment hosted by the Agricultural Support Services Project in the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Ebony Park HEART Academy.
The ceremony to officially open the training programme was held yesterday (April 19) at the Ebony Park HEART Academy in Toll Gate, Clarendon.Ruth Simpson, Agribusiness Development Officer at the ASSP told the audience that the project to train farmers would assist them to become more profitable through the use of better technology.
“As you all know, our farming has been mainly a manual affair and the farmers will benefit especially through the use of tractors and implements to assist with land preparation,” she said.
In his remarks, David Palmer, Agriculture Instructor at the HEART Trust/NTA said that the course was designed to enable farmers to operate a farm tractor with a trailer attached, perform routine tractor maintenance and servicing, to operate selected tillage equipment as well as to conduct pre-start inspection of the machine among other things. Eleven participants are to be trained in tractor operation in addition to basic mechanics and the Jamaican Road Code.
At the end of the training, they will be certified by the National Council on Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) and licensed through the Island Traffic Authority.
It is the first such training programme to be hosted by the ASSP and Ebony Park HEART Academy and is an 80-hour residential programme being held two days per week over a five week period from April 19 to May 14.
The participants originate from seven associations including the Santoy Association in Hanover, the Mountain Pioneer Association in Trelawny, the Springfield Farmers Association in St. Thomas, the Rhymesfield Association in Clarendon, the St. Elizabeth Sheep and Goat Farmers Association, the Bright River and the Hounslow Pedro Plain Associations in St. Elizabeth.
Farmers will use the equipment to enhance the production of fodder for animal rearing as well as to increase efficiency in the production of a number of vegetables, fruits and food crops for supply to the local and international market.

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