President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Glendon Harris, has called on farmers to take advantage of support provided by organisations such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the JAS Association of Branch Societies, to improve production and productivity.
“See how you can better utilise the input material made available through these support groups in order to get the best yields. Don’t just plant; be strategic and find out about what crops are in demand, find the direct markets and make the necessary links, then produce to meet those markets,” Mr. Harris urged.
Kenute Spence, a farmer from Sunderland in South St. James makes his contribution to the Jamaica Agricultural Society/St. James Association of Branch Societies Annual General Meeting held yesterday (June 23) at the St. John’s Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay.
He was delivering the main address at the annual general meeting of the St. James Association of Branch Societies held yesterday (June 23) at the St. John’s Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay.
The JAS President advised the farmers to aim for year-round production, noting that this will increase their competitiveness, and enable them to more effectively meet the demands of the hospitality sector and supply export markets.
Noting that access to irrigation is critical in ensuring sustained productivity, he called on the Ministry of Agriculture to “invest heavily in the acquisition of pond liners, which would enable farmers to store adequate water during the rainy seasons for the periods of drought.”
Member of Parliament for South St. James, Derrick Kellier, who also participated in the meeting, lauded the farmers, noting that it was through their commitment and resilience that production had increased in the parish last year.
Regional Manager in the National Peoples’ Co-operative Bank of Jamaica, Carlton McNaughton educating farmers of St. James on financial opportunities available at the bank.
“I must commend all you farmers who, despite the many challenges that you faced, did exceptionally well in your overall production over last year. I also want to commend the President, Mr. Harris, his team and all you farmers involved in the recent Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show. Through your hard work and levels of commitment, you have assisted in putting on a great show and I want to recognise your efforts,” Mr. Kellier said.
He pledged assistance to the sector, informing that this year, he would be making $2 million available from the Community Development Fund (CDF) “to assist in softening the blows from the hardships and challenges that you may encounter this year. This will hopefully help in providing some fertilisers, chemicals and other needed farm supplies to boost your efforts.”
In the elections, which followed, Mr. Harris was returned unopposed as President of the St. James Association of Branch Societies.