Farmers Urged to Make Use of Technology to Move Sector Forward


Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke, has encouraged farmers to take advantage of available technology to move the sector forward.
“More farmers need to adopt a holistic approach to production involving the integration of appropriate tools into their production systems as this will better enable them to modernize their operations.the hoe, the fork, the machete have their place, but if you’re going to lift agriculture to a higher level, much has to be done in terms of technology,” he stated.
He was speaking at a field day held yesterday (May 31) at the Denbigh Agricultural Showground in Clarendon, where farmers were introduced to the various types of farm and landscaping tools that could assist in land preparation.
These included various pieces of equipment under the Stihl brand such as brush-cutters, mist blowers, chainsaws and garden tools. The event was organized by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in collaboration with Delta Supply Company.
Janet Pullen, JAS Parish Manager of Clarendon, told JIS News that the session was aimed at encouraging farmers to adopt modern practices to increase efficiency and productivity. “Because the agricultural sector has to change and for us to be efficient, productive, and to make money, we have to attack the mental psyche of the average farmer,” she stated.
According to Ms. Pullen, it has been recognised that in many instances, farmers purchased equipment in order to become more productive yet were still not aware of the proper ways to use the tools.She noted that the Clarendon JAS has now been zoned into three large groups with approximately 31 small farmer groups in each zone, and regular meetings were being held with the farmers.
Already, she pointed out that eight field days have been organized since the start of this year for zone 1, while the first meeting for zone 2 was convened in May and sessions would continue into September.Some of the issues that were being looked at are: soil management, land preparation, use of fertilizer, as well as pesticide management.
Burt Rhoden, farmer and proprietor of Epic Hardware Store, told JIS News that the field day and demonstration session were very informative.
“This day with Delta Supply Company and the Stihl equipment has been a good day for us.the durability of the products is good for the farmers,” he said.

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