JIS News

Despite an active hurricane season last year, the Hanover office of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is confident of a 10 per cent growth in food crop production for 2005 over the previous year.
“This is because of farmers resuscitating their crops and getting back into production and getting back on their feet from the ravages that they felt from the hurricanes that passed earlier”, said Bernard Goffe, RADA parish manager for Hanover.
Mr. Goffe told JIS News that the aim at the start of the year, was for a 25 per cent increase in production, but the severe weather conditions had caused a downward revision of the figures.
He lauded the farmers for working to increase productivity, noting that despite the challenges, production increased marginally for the period July to September, where some 3,713 tons of produce were reaped as against 3,068 tons for the similar period in 2004. “Therefore it is showing that the resuscitation and rehabilitation of farms and farmers have paid dividends,” he stated.
Mr. Goffe informed that over 1,700 farmers within the parish received vouchers for government assistance towards hurricane losses. In addition, he stated, several farmers received hurricane assistance through a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) financed programme, while some received assistance through the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.
He said that vegetable production showed the largest increase followed closely by yam production. Crops such as plantains and sweet potato are now on the increase in the parish along with a number of tree crops, which were planted under a special programme.