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President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Mr. Glendon Harris, has said that the country’s farmers must adopt modern agricultural methods to maximize production and improve competitiveness.
Addressing the official handing over of a $2 million greenhouse and supplementary irrigation equipment to members of the Dromilly Agricultural Cooperative Society in Trelawny on Thursday (April 15), the JAS President stated that the days of farming with machetes and iron forks are long gone, adding that the use of modern techniques, including greenhouse technology, was the way forward.
“This (greenhouse) project is a vision and it is something that I see as actually bringing home to the farmers of Trelawny, the good sense that we cannot continue in the old mode.in these modern times,” he stated, contending that the use of technology will also make the sector more attractive to young people.
Mr. Harris encouraged the 20 farmers of the Dromilly Agricultural Cooperative Society to take care of the greenhouse and to “let the project be like a beacon for everyone to see”.
The farmers are engaged in the cultivation of crops such as scotch bonnet pepper, yam and corn, on an eight-acre plot in Dromilly district. The greenhouse, which was provided through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), will help to boost production, while protecting the crops from pests and environmental conditions.
Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Parish Manager for Trelawny, Mr. Crawford Clarke, in his remarks at the handing over, urged the farmers to strive continually improve their knowledge about agricultural practices and techniques.
“Your educational mode must be dynamic, it cannot be fixed, it cannot be just what you know today and that’s it. You have to seek to have increased knowledge…and the only way you can do so is by educating yourself,” he stated.