JIS News

Farmers of St. Mary were sensitised about the viability of agro processing, and the benefits of the sub-sector in increasing the value of farm produce, at a fair held recently at the Claude Stewart Park in Port Maria.
Held under the theme: ‘Linking Agriculture with Industry’, the event was sponsored by the St. Mary Parish Development Committee (PDC) in association with the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Scientific Research Council (SRC).
It was targeted at farmers, who have been negatively affected by the downturn in the banana industry, and aimed to point them to opportunities for agricultural diversification and employment generation.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Robert Montague, who gave the main address at the brief opening ceremony, noted the critical role played by agriculture in the development of the economy.
Mr. Montague, who is Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, commended the farmers of the parish for the resilience they have shown, and encouraged them to regard farming as a serious business to be conducted with the highest level of discipline and dedication.
Chairperson of the Planning Committee of the St. Mary PDC, Murdel McKenzie, told JIS News that her organisation was pleased to be associated with the fair.
She informed that plans were in place to make it an annual event, as a precursor to the annual St. Mary Agriculture Show, which is sponsored by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS). She also thanked the various sponsors for their support of the fair.
Among the agencies mounting displays at the fair were the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA); SRC; Jamaica Spring Water; Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS); Jamaica 4-H Clubs; SDC and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).

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