JIS News

Approximately 100 registered farmers in Mount Prospect, Manchester, are now better able to transport their produce to market, following the rehabilitation of a 300-metre stretch of roadway in the community.

The farm road, which was officially opened on Wednesday (February 23) by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., is one of many others in the Manchester North Western constituency that are being considered for upgrading.

The Minister commended the farmers for their continued resilience during the pandemic, noting that the situation has been challenging.

“Most persons would have reason to pack up and say ‘I’m done’, but I believe the pandemic has proven and exposed the resilience, strength and determination of our farmers,” he said.

“Farmers not only need but also deserve access to good land, water, money and good markets and good roads, and as a Ministry, we are committed to ensuring that we deliver as much support to you as possible,” Minister Charles Jr. said.

Minister Charles Jr. encouraged the farmers to increase production to meet local demand.

“We have to decrease what we import; I don’t want to import Irish potatoes or onions, so I challenge you to make sure that we utilise every acre of land to its maximum potential,” he urged.

“I can commit that Government will continue to do everything we can, through the technical advice given by the competent officers of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the support and resources given to you, to ensure that you achieve success,” he added.

Chief Executive Officer (Ag) of RADA, Marina Young, in her remarks, said that during the last quarter, the agriculture sector grew by 18 per cent, which was impressive, particularly considering the challenges of the last year, which included a storm, flooding and drought.

“It is very good to know that you are producing and we are here to ensure that the programmes supporting your activities and the growth of the sector will help with the livelihood of your community,” she said.

She also encouraged the young people to remain in their communities and become farmers, thereby helping to provide food security for Jamaica.

Young farmer Camarlie Wilson said he is grateful for the rehabilitation of the roadway.

“The road will help me very much. I plant Irish potatoes and carrots,” he noted.

The 19-year-old is encouraging more young people to consider a career in farming. “I would recommend farming to others because it’s a good thing to know you have something to do instead of idling around,” he told JIS News.

Member of Parliament for Manchester North Western, Mikael Phillips, in his remarks welcomed the upgrading of the roadway.

He said that Mount Prospect is an important production area, contributing to agricultural growth in the first quarter.

Improvement of the Mount Prospect road falls under the umbrella of the Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, which is aimed at enhancing farmers’ access to markets.


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