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JIS News

Farmers in Portland are benefiting from a programme of assistance currently being offered by the Government of Japan, to boost agricultural production in the parish.
Through the programme, the Japanese Government has made available a total of $5.5 million to the Portland branch of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), to purchase equipment and acquire other resources to increase agricultural production, and enhance the ability of farmers to take advantage of the marketing opportunities available to them both locally and abroad.
The assistance has enabled the purchase of a tractor to be used for the preparation of lands for farming, and the acquisition of five lap top computers to equip the newly established farmers technology centre, designed to provide useful information to the farmers of the parish.
Thelma Williams, JAS Regional Manager in charge of Portland, told JIS News that the organization and the farmers were grateful to the Japanese Government for the assistance it had provided, adding that the equipment acquired would play a critical role in transforming agricultural production in the parish.
Mrs. Williams said the tractor, when it arrived, would operate mostly in the western section of the parish initially, because of the special demand currently existing for its service in that area.
Turning to the procurement of the computers, Mrs. Williams said they would enable the farmers technology centre to provide farmers with information on marketing requirements and opportunities, and developmental procedures they needed to observe to enhance the quality of their products.
She pointed out that the centre would be fully operational by June, adding that 20 farmers would be trained in the use of computers and other aspects of the centre’s operation as part of a training programme for the general membership of the JAS in Portland.
Mrs. Williams said this initial training would enable the beneficiaries to be fully proficient in the use of the technology centre, and it is expected that they, in turn, would use the knowledge gained to train other farmers in the parish.