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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is conducting a three-day land husbandry workshop in St. Thomas, aimed at improving sustainable land management (SLM) practices in the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed.
  • Focus is being placed on sustainable ways of clearing land, planting on a slope, how to minimise soil erosion, and planting cover crops (green manure) to improve soil productivity.
  • Participants will be taken into the field for practical demonstrations on land husbandry.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is conducting a three-day land husbandry workshop in St. Thomas, aimed at improving sustainable land management (SLM) practices in the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed.

The train the trainer short course, which started on Tuesday (January 12) at the Bethel Callum Park in Cedar Valley, is part of the Integrated Management of the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed Management Areas Project.

Project Coordinator, Nelsa English-Johnson, told JIS News that the aim of the training is to implement best practices for soil conservation, especially in farming communities.

“We have severe degradation that is happening as a result of deforestation, improper agricultural techniques and fire being used for land clearing, so we’re looking to put interventions in place to curb those practices,” she told JIS News.

Focus is being placed on sustainable ways of clearing land, planting on a slope, how to minimise soil erosion, and planting cover crops (green manure) to improve soil productivity.

“The workshop looks at the correct measures to be employed to protect the soil from washing away, the correct way to plant tree crops, and the best way to preserve land, whether it is for agricultural purposes, forestry or building purposes,” she noted.

Participants will be taken into the field for practical demonstrations on land husbandry.

Mrs. English-Johnson told JIS News that the training is being facilitated by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).

Participants were drawn from farmers’ groups and agencies that work in the watershed areas, and include RADA, NEPA, Forestry Department, National Irrigation Commission (NIC), Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT),

St. Thomas Bee Farmers’ Association and St. Thomas Environment Protection Association (STEPA) Benevolent Society.

They will be required to educate farmers and other community stakeholders in applying the land husbandry techniques learnt.

The Integrated Management of the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed Management Areas Project aims to reduce the pressure on natural resources in the Yallahs River and Hope River Watershed of the Blue Mountains through proper land management practices.

It is expected to yield the improved management of biological diversity and enhanced flow of ecosystem services that sustain the livelihood of local residents.

NEPA is executing the project through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Government of Jamaica (GOJ).