JIS News

Farmers and fisher folks are being urged by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), to carry out the necessary post-storm recovery activities, to restore their operations in the shortest possible time.
Giving reminders, Director, Division of Technology, Training and Technical Information at RADA, Phillip Chung, told JIS News that fish farmers should examine fish ponds for dead fish or contamination, have the dead fish removed, and report these incidents to the Aquaculture Unit, Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture. Contaminated ponds, he advised, should be drained, cleaned and refilled.
In the case of livestock, Mr. Chung said that they must be checked for injury and illness, and treated quickly.
Turning to bee farmers, he advised them to check for queen bee activity five days after a storm and to replace queens, where necessary. Where robbing activities are observed, Mr. Chung said that unwanted openings in hive bodies should be plugged and hive entrances reduced, so that guard bees could protect the colony.
Very important, the RADA Director said, is the immediate reaping of all wholesome mature and near-mature produce. These should be stored in a cool dry place or a refrigerated storage facility.
For the protection of crops, drains should be cleared, allowing water to run out of the soil zone, enabling roots to breathe freely, thereby avoiding plant disease. Once the fields are drained, fertilizer is to be applied. Plants should also be checked for diseases and treated as necessary.
RADA is further urging that where necessary, fallen plants should be propped up to enable continued production. For tree crops, this should be done within 14 days of the damage.
Regarding bananas and plantains, RADA is reminding farmers that damaged plants with fruits more than half mature may be salvaged. To do so, fruits should be covered to protect them. They may be covered with fallen leaves. Exposed roots are to be covered with soil and bent trees propped up. Non-bearing plants that have fallen or are broken, should be cut down and the oldest sucker allowed to take over.
Farmers are being reminded that pesticide spills and consequent water contamination may occur after a storm. Stores should therefore be examined, all spills cleaned and any suspicion of intrusion into water supplies reported to RADA or the Pesticide Control Authority (PCA), at which time the names of the spilt pesticide should be given.
Farmers are also encouraged to report to RADA, all land slippage, scouring and roadblocks to the nearest RADA office or the local Parish Council Office, as road access is key to moving farm supplies.