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JIS News

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in Hanover, is putting plans in place to address the shortage of qualified Gardeners in the parish.
In an interview with JIS News, Agricultural Manager with RADA in the parish, Bernard Goffe said that the shortage of persons with gardening skills was evident in all of western Jamaica, but more pronounced in the parish of Hanover.
He said that a number of residents in the parish had approached him in search of skilled gardeners, as they were having difficulty identifying skilled persons to work in that field.
The RADA Parish Manager pointed out that he was in the process of writing a project proposal for presentation to two training institutions within the parish for the introduction of courses to prepare some of the young people with basic gardening skills, to meet the present demand.
He said the Knockalva Agricultural School and HEART Trust/NTA were the institutions that he would be approaching with the idea, so the young people could receive training and certification.
Mr. Goffe said that a number of hotel projects were now in the pipeline, while some were at a far stage of implementation within western Jamaica, and gardening was a specialized skill, which would be required at these hotels.
He warned of the possibility of persons having to come from other islands of the Caribbean to fill gardening posts when some of these new hotels are established, as such movements of persons would be permissible under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Mr. Goffe said gardening could create an opportunity for some of the less academically qualified persons within the rural communities, adding that literacy would still be an all important factor. He said that land preparation, seed-bed preparation, and landscaping were areas which could be covered within a concentrated short training course, to prepare persons with the skill of gardening.