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Young persons in North West Clarendon have been urged to make use of available land in the area, to address the global food crisis and to provide an income for themselves.
This call has come from Alvin Murray, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) representative, at a Constituency Development Fund (CDF) meeting in Spaldings, recently.
“The way forward is to get the land covered again. We need to get the land covered again. I remember the days when you drive from Chapelton straight to Albert Town, the roadside was not covered with grass, but with banana trash,” he said.
“People knew the cash flow, the everyday income that banana gave, people fully knew the sort of money that came from ginger and irish potato,” he continued, reminding members of the audience of the economic benefits to be gained from serious agricultural investment.
Lamenting the significant decrease in tree crop planting across the island, Mr. Murray encouraged the constituents to invest as heavily as possible in this kind of farming, as it was of utmost importance to put the trees back on the land.
Attendees were informed of a recent initiative implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Commission to foster tree crop planting islandwide. Under this scheme, farmers are provided with tree crop seedlings free of cost, and $25,000 per acre towards the maintenance of these crops.
Mr. Murray also advised them that they could maximize the use of the land by intercropping tree crops such as avocado and june plum with ginger, irish potato and other short term crops.
Additionally, he encouraged the residents to open their minds to the use of technology in farming, stressing that while it is not a perfect method, modern approaches to farming such as greenhouse technology, could equate to greater yield at the end of the day.
Greenhouse farming, also called protected farming, is done under controlled conditions in an area enclosed by plastic or other material. Under these conditions, plants are protected from elements, such as hail, wind, sun and rain. Plants are also less vulnerable to the pests which would normally be found in the soil.
RADA has reported that greenhouse farming can yield up to 10 times more than regular farming, even as less is invested in terms of human and other resources.