Jamaica News: Farmers are to benefit from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), to create a more structured framework within the sector.
Addressing a RADA Farmers’ and Community Development Forum on August 21 at Richmond Gap, St. Thomas, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, said the MoU should be signed by the end of September.
He explained that the MoU will seek to establish a framework of cooperation and collaboration, which will see both organisations working more closely to build the capacity of the sector.
The objective is to reduce duplication and economise the use of resources within the industry.
Mr. Hutchinson said the agreement will facilitate structure in the system by bringing all farmers under one entity, ensuring that all stakeholders can benefit from the limited resources in the sector.
“We are going to have one farming organisation, so instead of having JAS getting certain things, and production and marketing organisations (PMOs) getting certain things, it will be one farmers’ group in which all inputs coming to that area will be distributed by the Executive in the area to the farmers who are genuinely in need of the inputs,” he said.
He also challenged the farmers to expand their business operations by setting up a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) certified processing facility to create natural juices from the fruits and vegetables in the area.
“Set up projects where you can have a processing facility… whereby you can supply juice from the mangoes and all the other fruits and vegetables you have here. You can supply the schools in your area with fruit juices,” he said.
Mr. Hutchinson informed that the Ministry and its agencies remain committed to assisting farmers to improve agricultural practices and outputs.
To achieve this, RADA will be setting up demonstration plots at every primary and high school to introduce farmers to new techniques.
Crops grown at the school will be used in the school’s breakfast programme.
Source: JIS News