JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is reporting a steady recovery in sweet yam production in Trelawny.
  • Speaking at the recent monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, RADA Parish Manager, Courtney Taylor, said sweet yam production had declined in recent years due to the anthracnose fungus, which affects many plants, including vegetables, fruits, and trees.
  • It also attacks developing shoots and expanding leaves, and can spread rapidly during the rainy season.

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is reporting a steady recovery in sweet yam production in Trelawny.

Speaking at the recent monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, RADA Parish Manager, Courtney Taylor, said sweet yam production had declined in recent years due to the anthracnose fungus, which affects many plants, including vegetables, fruits, and trees.

It also attacks developing shoots and expanding leaves, and can spread rapidly during the rainy season.

Mr. Taylor said, however, that as a result of interventions under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) Production and Productivity Programme, “we are seeing some improvements as it relates to [sweet yam] crop care”.

“A lot of farmers, especially those who basically were out of production, are now [interested] in getting back into production because of what they are seeing,” he indicated.

Mr. Taylor pointed out that with ongoing interventions, full-scale sweet yam production in Trelawny is expected in the next two years.

Meanwhile, Mr. Taylor said the Production and Productivity Programme has been assisting Trelawny’s farmers with the production of five key crops — sweet yam, dasheen, pineapple, hot pepper, and Irish potato.

Additionally, he said RADA has been training farmers in disaster risk management to enable them to better safeguard their cultivations.

“We are being proactive as it relates to providing information to farmers… and that is something that is on the forefront at the moment,” Mr. Taylor stated.