JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ effort to get more Jamaicans to take up farming as a viable economic activity is yielding results, with 12,500 new players joining the profession last year.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, speaking at the opening of the Denbigh Agri-Industrial Show in May Pen, Clarendon on Saturday July 31, said that as a result of the new entrants in the sector, more lands were being put into production. He noted that there was a 12 per cent increase in agricultural production in 2009.
Also last year, more farmers were exposed to improvements and best practices in the sector, and there was an increase in the use of greenhouse technology.
“We saw approximately, a 15-per cent increase in capacity and a 60 per cent increase in greenhouse output, indicating that there was also an increase in the productivity of that very important technology,” Minister Tufton said.
In the meantime, he informed that more farmers were registering with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
“When I became Minister, we had just under 100,000 registered farmers out of a possible 200,000 farmers engaged in livestock or crop production, and today, we have some 135,000 farmers registered, an increase of some 35,000 or approximately 25 to 30 per cent over that two-year period,” he said.
Earlier in the day, President of the JAS, Glendon Harris and 1st Vice President, Norman Grant, took the Minister on a tour of the various display areas, which showcased the best of the country’s agricultural production.
Minister Tufton also addressed the opening of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs’ National Youth in Agriculture Village.
The three-day show, which concluded on Aug. 2 was organised by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in association with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, under the theme: ‘Grow What We Eat. Eat What We Grow’.

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