JIS News

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) is collaborating with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) to produce a farmer’s quality manual.
Senator Norman Grant, President of the JAS, informed that the manual, which is being developed at a cost of approximately $700,000, would provide the guidelines and framework for good agricultural practices. It will provide information on how to improve quality and efficiency techniques and increase yields.
“The farmers quality manual will ensure that agricultural practices such as integrated pest management (IPM) become more readily available or accessible to farming communities and others, who are interested in agriculture in a standardized way,” he said further.
The quality manual should be completed over three months and will be used in association with the National Programme for the Certification of Agricultural Produce (CAP).
Meanwhile, the JAS and the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) have partnered to establish a comprehensive code of practice for the growing of a variety of Jamaican produce.
Senator Grant explained that the objective of this initiative was to create a quality seal, which would apply to the domestic and export markets.
“Since April of 2004, the JAS and the BSJ have been working assiduously with farmers with the objective of providing a quality seal of approval, which will certify that they conform to the safety, quality and environmental standards of a world-class standard product,” Senator Grant said.
The project will cover seven crops in its pilot phase, namely ginger, thyme, escallion, hot pepper, sweet pepper, carrot and tomato.
Already, work is advanced on the development of a code of practice for the growing of tomatoes, through $2 million in funding from the Bureau. Once completed, the code will highlight the “types of tomatoes to be grown, when they are to be planted as well as the cultural practices that we are to engage in to ensure that they are healthy and that they are grown in an environmentally friendly way,” Senator Grant explained.
The code of practice is expected to improve the production of a variety of tomatoes, including those used to make ketchup, thus reducing the need to import tomato pastes.

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