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Executive Director of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Al Powell has reiterated the Authority’s commitment to providing the best extension service, and most effective marketing assistance to farmers.
Giving the main address at an open day organized by the RADA Portland Office, Mr. Powell said this undertaking was out of recognition of the critical role the farming community plays in the economic and social development of the country.
Mr. Powel told the function that the extension service provided by RADA is being doubled to ensure that the service is offered in a more timely and effective manner. He added that every parish will be equipped with a marketing officer to ensure that the best marketing arrangements are in place for farmers.
Noting that RADA is linking production to marketing to ensure that farmers secure the best prices available for their produce, he assured that there are excellent marketing opportunities abroad for Jamaican agricultural products.
The Executive Director added that the marketing unit of the Ministry of Agriculture will also be working closely with the parish marketing officers to access markets for Jamaican farmers. He said RADA is collaborating with farmers to promote the production of value-added goods, adding that the provision of twelve tractors and the refurbishing of farm roads are among the other initiatives that the Government, through RADA, is implementing to provide the farming sector with the resources it needs.
The open day highlighted the services provided in Portland by RADA, and saw the display of various products manufactured by several organizations. Among them were the Jamaica Agricultural Society, the Jamaica 4H Clubs, the National Land Agency, the Forestry Department, the Pesticides Control Authority, the Consumer Affairs Commission, and the Inland Revenue Department. Among the most interesting features of the open day was the showcasing of value added goods made from carrots, jackfruit, bananas, and peanuts.