JAS Assisting Farmers in St. James


The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), through a $20 million grant from the Committee for Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), is assisting farmers inSt. James to return to full agricultural production, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan last September.
Some 600 farmers recently converged on the Montpelier agricultural show grounds, where they were presented with over 680 bags of fertilizer for their farms.
President of the St. James Association of Branch Societies, Glendon Harris told JIS News that some 1,000 farmers across the parish of St. James, whose farms were badly affected during the passage of the hurricane, have been singled out for assistance from the organization.
“We have been making efforts to assist our JAS farmers with fertilizers, seeds, shade house material, and small farming equipment, such as knapsack sprayers and mist blowers, as they seek to regain full production levels,” he pointed out.
Mr. Harris, who is also first Vice President of the JAS, said the organization would also be distributing a variety of vegetables and other seeds to farmers next week.
“Banana farmers, who seem to have suffered the most, will be assisted with special fertilizers and technical expertise in their efforts to rehabilitate their farms,” he added.
Mr. Harris noted that the distribution of shade house/green house material was a direct strategy of the JAS to introduce farmers to modern ways of agricultural production, which should result in a reduction in the volume of chemicals used on the farms.
“As is manifested on the ground, the farmers have bounced back very well after Hurricane Ivan as they have been producing to the extent that there is now surplus supplies of certain farm produce. They have truly responded well, and the JAS is seeking to give them a further boost so that they can move to bigger and more profitable production,” he said.
Mr. Harris said this should stimulate members of the JAS and once again make agriculture a truly successful venture for farmers.

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