JIS News

Initiatives toward increased cassava production in St. James are being spearheaded by a group of 40 farmers in the Flower Hill area of the parish, who are currently preparing some 15 acres of land for the project.
Parish Manager for the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Wentworth Mitchell, told JIS News that the bammy factory in Flower Hill was constantly ‘starved’ for cassava and oftentimes had to buy the product from neighbouring parishes.
“We think that it is important for St. James, where we have a factory where bammies are being processed, that we encourage our farmers to go back into cassava production. With this being the mandate, Flower Hill has been targeted and the 40 farmers are setting the groundwork for enhanced production of cassava in order to bring sustainability to the Flower Hill cottage industry,” Mr. Mitchell said. He noted that expectations are high and that the project would be expanded with more farmers joining the group, in order to change the economic viability of the parish and by extension the country. “I am hopeful that more farmers will come on board, not only for the factory but for the proposal made by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, that cassava would be used as one of our animal feed supplements. Therefore, we want to encourage our farmers to grow as much as they can, not only for this crop but other crops as we experience global food shortage. I hope that farmers will realize that this is a time when we will have to make use of the necessary technology that is available to us,” Mr. Mitchell emphasized.
“I believe that green house technology is seen as one way to go at this time. This is protected agriculture, where you can have and maintain sustainable supplies. We at RADA are committed and are ready to work with the farmers and to bring across all the modern and most recent technology that’s available to them to increase their production and productivity,” he said.
He stressed that it was time that country became self sufficient and stop being too dependent on foreign assistance, and for Jamaicans to begin living up to the slogan: ‘Grow what we eat and eat what we grow.’