Farmers Urged to Diversify Production


Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Parish Manager for St. James, Wentworth Mitchell, has encouraged farmers to diversify their crops as a means of increasing income and cushioning the effects of bad weather Mr. Mitchell, who was addressing the annual general meeting of the St. James Association of Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), held in Montego Bay on June 19, said that during the spell of bad weather last year, farmers in the parish, who had more than one type of crop under production, were better able to cope after the event, than those who did not diversify.
He cited small livestock and the Fruit Tree Crop Programme, as areas in which farmers could become involved. He informed that 14 types of fruit trees were available through that the Fruit Tree Crop Programme, which could be used to supplement income from other farming activities and ventures.
In the meantime, Mr. Mitchell suggested the adoption of the latest in technology, operating as a co-operative, and bulk purchasing of farm inputs, as helpful methods towards successful farming.
He pleaded with the farmers to find ways and means to cash in on the number of developments taking place in St. James, in terms of marketing their products and maintaining consistent supplies to the market.
The St. James Association of Branch Societies consists of approximately 45 registered branch groups. Chairman of the Association, Glendon Harris, was re-elected to that post unopposed for his ninth consecutive term.

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