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  • Agriculture, Labour, and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is encouraging farmers to establish fire prevention groups to mitigate the occurrence of dangerous fires which have been destroying large acres of crops islandwide.
  • He advises farmers not to light fires when preparing land for cultivation, warning that this practice could lead to flames spreading rapidly, under the prevailing dry conditions, resulting in extensive devastation.
  • Rather, he encourages them to consult with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) which, he assures, will provide the appropriate advice.

Agriculture, Labour, and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is encouraging farmers to establish fire prevention groups to mitigate the occurrence of dangerous fires which have been destroying large acres of crops islandwide.

He advises farmers not to light fires when preparing land for cultivation, warning that this practice could lead to flames spreading rapidly, under the prevailing dry conditions, resulting in extensive devastation.

Rather, he encourages them to consult with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) which, he assures, will provide the appropriate advice.

The Minister was addressing farmers and other agriculture industry stakeholders, at the St. Mary RADA parish office in Port Maria, on September 24, following a tour of areas adversely affected by the prevailing drought.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kellier said initial assessments by the Banana Board and RADA indicate that the dry conditions and resulting bush fires have affected several farmers and large acres of produce in various communities.

St. Mary, which is a primary producer of banana, cocoa, and coffee, has been one of the most severely affected parishes.

On his tour, Mr. Kellier made stops in Aqualta Vale, Esher, and the Orange River Agricultural Research Station, where he had extensive discussions with famers.

He was accompanied by Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Transport, Works, and Housing and Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy; and the Members of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Dr. Winston Green; and Western St. Mary, Jolyan Silvera.

Also on the tour were: Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, Donovan Stanberry; Chief Executive Officer, RADA, Lenworth Fulton; Custos Rotulorum, Hon. Alaric ‘Bobby’ Pottinger; as well as representatives from the All Island Banana Growers Association (AIBGA), the Cocoa Board, the Coconut Industry Board, and other Ministry agencies and industry stakeholders.