JIS News

As efforts continue to increase and diversify agricultural production in Portland, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), will be working closely with the farmers to expand the scope of the fruit tree crop project, aimed at increasing the potential for export earnings.
Crawford Clarke, RADA Parish Manager for Portland told JIS News that his organization had embarked on a joint initiative with the farmers of the parish, which would result in the establishment of 32 hectares of fruit tree cultivation involving a number of communities, by the end of February next year.
This development would be in addition to the 20 hectares already in production under the project, which was established in Portland and other parishes in 2000 as part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s effort to boost the development of fruit tree orchards in the country.
A total of 14 fruit crops are being targeted for cultivation under the programme in Portland, including breadfruit, ackee, otaheitie apple, june plum and sour sop.
Mr. Clarke said the additional 32 hectares of cultivation should produce about 3,900 fruit trees in the parish, adding that RADA was currently working with farmers in a number of communities to commence some of that cultivation by October of this year.
He noted that the project had the potential to contribute significantly to Portland’s economy because of the demand for fruits, both locally and abroad.
Mr. Clarke said the programme had grown significantly since it was introduced in 2000, citing the overwhelming support and co-operation of farmers as the major reason.
He said that RADA would continue to support the venture, and encouraged the farmers to be relentless in their effort to achieve food security for the country.

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