JIS News

The Office of the St. Elizabeth Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), has reported that in an effort to increase agricultural output in the parish, the agency has conducted many training sessions with students and farmers.
These included training in food production, preparation and preservation of meals, and menus for persons with special health needs.
Giving the annual RADA report at the recently held St. Elizabeth Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) conference, Extension Officer attached to the (RADA) parish office, Lawrence Rowe said despite the drought experienced, the organization was fulfilling its mandate in the area of food security.
“We are on a collaborative and co-ordinated approach to guide the agricultural sector towards increased food security, and this we are doing through the various training courses that we offer. The hope is to have enough food and reliable markets for the farmers to sell what they plant and to put communities in a position where they can rely less on imported goods, which will result in the farmers improving their economic wellbeing,” Mr. Rowe said. He noted that the agency has stepped up its drive in crop protection. “Another area that we concentrated on was pest and disease management, safe and effective use of pesticide, and a surveillance programme was implemented for the West Indian Fruitfly. A total of 136 samples were collected and submitted to the Bodles Research Centre for analysis. For the other reported pests, we have had sessions with farmers to help them put control measures in place, so that there won’t be any serious problems with their presence,” Mr. Rowe informed.
Some 13,000 farmers are registered with RADA in St. Elizabeth.