JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke, has said that farmers must have access to relevant information for the development of the sector.
Minister Clarke, who was speaking at a workshop on Lifelong Learning for Farmers held yesterday (Oct. 26) at the Canadian High Commission on Waterloo Road, pointed out that “in the agricultural sector and especially in the area of small farm agriculture, there is a deficiency in knowledge”.
Mr. Clarke noted that because of financial constraints, we have had to cut back on the level of extension that we provide for the farmers and because of that, there is this deficiency; there is gap between our researchers and our farmers.
According to the Minister, “there should never be this kind of gap because you will not achieve what you would want to achieve, so it has to be filled”.
The workshop, put on by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning and the Canadian International Development Agency-sponsored Micro Enterprise Financing Limited, was aimed at giving Jamaican farmers easier access to information and knowledge to improve there livelihoods.
Minister Clarke said the workshop provided a “great opportunity not only for the farmers themselves, who will be the beneficiaries, but our extension officers will begin to get a new feeling of how they can move that knowledge from where it emanates in the lab to where it ends up in the field”.
The Minister added that “our farmers will have to understand that this is a new era, things cannot be the same old way. We have to find innovative ways of getting that knowledge to them and they have to log on to what we are about.”