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JIS News

Two agricultural projects are currently being implemented in Portland by the Ridge to Reef Watershed Management Project to protect and expand the production of fruit trees as well as encourage the practice of proper land husbandry among the farmers of the parish.
In an interview with JIS on Friday (December 3) Coordinator for the Ridge to Reef Land Management Anchor Programme, Everton Parkes said the Fruit Trees Resuscitation Project and the Land Management projects were introduced in response to the damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Ivan in September.
He noted that the parish experienced significant fruit tree loss and a great deal of soil erosion as a result of the hurricane, and added that both projects were aimed at stimulating the sustainable development of the agricultural sector.
Mr. Parkes informed that the projects had already been implemented in several communities and that a number of trained persons had been engaged by the Ridge to Reef Project to work with the communities to ensure that the implementation was done properly.
Pointing out that the Fruit Tree Resuscitation Project would involve the pruning of and provision of general care to the trees, Mr. Parkes said it would also include the distribution of seedlings to farmers for replanting. Grafting will also be done to widen the scope of the project.
Turning to the Land Management Programme, he said it’s implementation was so far confined to the Rio Grande Valley areas of the parish, stressing that it’s major focus was to provide training for the farmers of the area about the proper ways in which planting should be done on slopes. The projects are being assisted by the Forestry Department, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS). The Ridge to Reef Watershed Management Project will be establishing a tool bank at the Port Antonio office of RADA where tools will be made available to communities that need them to work on the projects.