JIS News

Farmers in St. Catherine are now utilising a tractor for land preparation at a subsidised cost. The unit was recently assigned to the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s (JAS) parish office in St. Catherine.
The vehicle is one of six under the JAS Tractor Tillage Service, which was handed over to the JAS by the Development Bank of Jamaica through the Ministry of Agriculture. The tractors, which cost over $14 million, will be used by the JAS to operate the tillage service, which will provide help for farmers at subsidized rates. Tractors have been assigned to Portland, St Mary and St Elizabeth.
JAS Parish Coordinator, Lincoln Walters told JIS News that the farmers would pay a maximum of 75 per cent of the market value for their tillage. He said farmers would pay 50 per cent of the total cost before hiring the tractor and the other half on completion of the job.
Additionally, Mr. Walters said farmers would have to provide gasoline for the tractor while on the job. “There is a great demand for the tractor in the parish and farmers are coming to seek the use of it. It is overwhelming and I don’t know if we can serve them,” Mr. Walters said.
He added that a list with the names of farmers desirous of using the tractor and the kilometres of land to be ploughed would be sent to the JAS.
The Parish Coordinator said that the operation of the tractor would be supervised by a committee consisting of representatives of the JAS, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the President of the JAS, Dr. Trevor Dewdney.
He disclosed that the tractor had started working on a plot belonging to a farmer in Old Harbour and advised that farmers should indicate the type of tractor service they needed, whether ploughing or harrowing.
Previously, farmers hired the services of private tractors and this was very expensive,” Mr. Walters added.

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