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Sixty yam farmers from Albert Town, Wait-a-Bit, and other yam-producing areas of South Trelawny, have been selected to spearhead the restoration of two popular varieties of yam.
They are the sweet, and negro yams, which have been challenged and severely affected by the Nematodes and Anthraxnose diseases.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, who was addressing farmers in Albert Town, Trelawny, during a tour of the areas known as ‘yam country’, the project will be funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in the sum of $4 million, and will be launched within weeks.
“In an effort to get production back up, we have been in discussions with the Food and Agriculture Organisation, as part of a programme to promote alternative starches, including yam, we have made special provisions to allocate $4 million to support the expansion in the production of yams here in Trelawny,” Dr. Tufton told farmers.
“Farmers working through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), will benefit from the project, which will see the sourcing of planting material, providing critical inputs and to encourage and motivate farmers to increase production,” he added.
The Agriculture Minister, assured farmers of the Government’s commitment to assisting them to enhance their production, in order to compete in the marketplace.
“Government is now in the process of expanding RADA by recruiting more extension officers, in an effort to double the present numbers across the country. We are also seeking to review the training programmes in order to provide better training, and are presently engaged in research work on soil preparation for different crops. All of these things combined, are intended to help you the farmers so you can grow your crops better,” Dr. Tufton told farmers.