Farmers in Westmoreland Provided with Planting Material

Photo: Marlon Tingling State Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Luther Buchanan (right), presents a voucher to Egbert Lawrence, one of over 70 farmers from Westmoreland, who have received support under the Ministry’s Agricultural Production Incentive Programme (APIP), which was launched at the New Works Primary School in the parish on January 21.

Story Highlights

  • More than 70 small farmers from Westmoreland have received donations of planting material, farming tools and fertiliser valued $1.5 million.
  • The farmers received Irish potato planting material, as well as tomato, sweet pepper and other vegetable seeds, which they can plant alongside the main crop.
  • The farmers who received assistance under the programme all expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Agriculture, pointing out that the support has come at the right time.

More than 70 small farmers from Westmoreland have received donations of planting material, farming tools and fertiliser valued $1.5 million.

The support was provided under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Agricultural Productivity Incentive Programme (APIP), which was launched in the parish on January 21.

State Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Luther Buchanan, in his remarks at the function held at the New Works Primary School, said the aim is to boost agricultural production in the parish.

“It is hoped that the farmers will increase production of all crops, especially Irish potato this year. Last year, we did 45 acres of Irish potato and this year the intention is to ramp it up to 55 acres,” he said.

The farmers received Irish potato planting material, as well as tomato, sweet pepper and other vegetable seeds, which they can plant alongside the main crop.

Mr. Buchanan, who is also Member of Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, informed that assistance will also be provided for livestock farmers, particularly those who rear goats, sheep, and pigs. He said a chicken programme is to come on stream to bolster supply to the local market.

The Agriculture State Minister pointed out that only farmers, who are registered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will receive assistance under the APIP.

As such, he is encouraging those, who are not registered with RADA to take the necessary steps to do so, noting that the move will also assist in the fight against praedial larceny.

“In order to minimise praedial larceny, we have reinforced the registration programme so that when a man comes to buy from your farm, you are able to write a receipt stating what you sold with your farmer’s ID (identification). So when the police stop him…he is able to say where he purchased the goods and can show a receipt,” he pointed out.

The farmers who received assistance under the programme all expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Agriculture, pointing out that the support has come at the right time.

A number of women and young farmers benefited from the support.

Oona Lawrence and HM Buchanan
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Luther Buchanan (right), presents a voucher for agricultural tools and planting materials to Westmoreland farmer Oona Lawrence. The presentation took place during the launch of the Agricultural Production Incentive Programme (APIP) at the New Works Primary School in the parish on January 21.

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