PORT ANTONIO — Executive Director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Lenworth Fulton, has called on farmers in St. Mary to revive the production of traditional crops, even as they continue their efforts to achieve diversification with others.
Giving the keynote address at the annual general meeting of the St. Mary branch of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in Highgate, last week, Mr. Fulton said traditional crops are still in great demand and will contribute significantly to the economic and social development of the parish.
Citing banana and sugar as two of the traditional products for which there is strong demand and significant earning possibilities, Mr. Fulton encouraged the farmers to take a serious look at bringing them back into the forefront of agricultural production in the parish.
He added that there is also a great need to increase protein sources through the rearing of pigs, goats and chicken, in order to satisfy the demand in the country.
Mr. Fulton said the world is facing a challenge in food production because of the increasing global population, and the need to achieve food security is the most significant task facing the global community.
Mr. Fulton said the school garden and back yard garden projects were part of efforts by the country to increase food production, in order to provide the citizens with better food security, adding that it is critical that every conscientious Jamaican buy into the idea of increasing agricultural production, to reduce the expenditure on foods imported into the country.
Paying tribute to the JAS for its role in organising the country’s farmers over the years, he cited the farming community’s resilience and dedication displayed in developing the agricultural sector, despite the many challenges which have confronted them.
Several JAS branches in the parish were presented with tokens of appreciation and encouragement for their efforts to increase and diversify agricultural production.
The branches at Jeffery Town, Kenbrook, Derry and Heartland were presented with 50 chickens each to enhance their poultry rearing projects, while the Sandside and Heartland branches were given one pig each to assist their pig rearing ventures.
By ASTON G. BAILEY, JIS Reporter