JIS News

Several peanut farmers in St. Elizabeth benefitted from a recent training seminar, hosted by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, at the Warminster peanut factory in the parish.
Presenter at the seminar, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Mark Panton, told JIS News that the farmers can increase their yields by controlling their farming techniques.
“At the Ministry, we want to reach the stage where we increase the yield per acre in whatever you are farming. For peanuts, it starts with your land selection, and you need to look at your seed selection. That is very important, because we must get to a situation where farmers get the maximum produce from their labour,” he said.
He encouraged the farmers to ensure that they buy quality seeds, choose with care, the time that they plant, and always bear in mind the time in which reaping will take place. All these steps, he said, are geared toward the incremental increase in productivity.
“Our goal, ultimately, is to take our production from 50 bushels per acre to 100 bushels per acre. In the United States, against which we are competing, their average production is 150 bushels per acre. We have the ability and can compete.our soils are rich.it is just about our methods of farming,” Dr. Panton said.
Meanwhile, Field Services and Economic Manager at the 4-H Clubs, Ronald Blake, said it is critical to bring stakeholders together to look at the value chain in peanut production.
“We were able to disaggregate and look at the role that each stakeholder has to play to build and develop a viable peanut industry. We have identified a number of issues, and one that we need to look at is the technicality involved. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will be playing a critical role in that,” he said.

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