JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Errol Ennis has called on farmers to revolutionise their farming activities in order to fully exploit the opportunities existing in the global marketplace.
Addressing a marketing and production workshop for farmers in Portland on Thursday, May 6, Mr. Ennis said it was important for farmers to appreciate the changes that were necessary for successful agricultural ventures.
The workshop, which was organized by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), was held at the Old Port Antonio Marina. It was attended by a large turnout of farmers from several communities in the parish.
Mr. Ennis emphasised that farmers must develop a proper understanding of the markets for which they produced, adding that it was necessary for them to produce the goods which are required by those markets. He also noted that they must develop the ability to recognise and respond to the changes which occur from time to time in the marketplace.
The State Minister said the government was fully committed to giving the necessary support to the farming sector that would enable its success and growth, and that it was essential for farmers to effectively organise themselves and use their collective power and influence to lobby for benefits to the farming industry.
He implored farmers to use available technology to improve and expand production, and encouraged them to use value added on their products, as in so doing, they would be maximising the benefits than could be derived from their production.
Mr. Ennis noted that the current global community was a competitive one, in which producers from all over the world were seeking access to markets everywhere, and that it was incumbent on every member of the farming community to ensure that production was of the best quality in order for Jamaican agriculture to compete successfully.
He said that despite the challenges, there were encouraging signs in the country’s agriculture, as some farmers were abandoning traditional farming methods and were embracing new and innovative techniques, which could reposition the sector and place it on the cutting edge of production.
The State Minister said that Portland was among the parishes that were slowest to respond to the challenges presented to agriculture by current global realities, adding that it was important for a co-operative effort to be developed between the Ministry of Agriculture, RADA, and the various other agricultural organizations, to formulate a programme for agricultural development along modern and sustainable lines in those parishes.

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