JIS News

A team from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Agricultural Support Services Project (ASSP), headed by the Permanent Secretary, were recently in Cuba negotiating a technical cooperation agreement with the Cuban authorities in the areas of protected agriculture, including greenhouse and semi-protected technologies.
The objective of the technical cooperation is to bolster the capacity of the Ministry to provide extension and other services to the growing number of farmers engaged in protected agriculture. Under this agreement, the Ministry with technical help from the Cuban authorities will establish greenhouse and semi-protected facilities to grow crops under organic and conventional conditions. The inclusion of organic farming is particularly important at this time, given the steep increases in fertilizer prices, and the fact that in Jamaica farmers can obtain premium prices for organic products, once they are certified. Through this cooperation, therefore, the Ministry through RADA and our Research Division will be able to provide quality extension service and advice to our farmers.
The team will also meet with manufacturers of greenhouses and semi-protected structures with a view to identify a cheaper and more adapted source of these facilities to support our expanding protected agriculture sub-sector.
Against the background of the high cost of grains and animal feeds due to the diversion of grains into ethanol, the team has reached agreement with the Cuban authorities to conduct joint research into the use of indigenous materials such as sugar cane and cassava for the formulation of animal feeds. The Cubans have enormous experience in this area. As part of the plan to revive the livestock sector, we will collaborate with them on artificial insemination technologies and other breeding methods.
At the same time, the Jamaican team is actively engaging the Cuban authorities in exploring the possibilities for the export of Jamaican agricultural products and other manufactured goods.

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