Jamaica pide aumentar la producción a los agricultores menos afectados por la sequía
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is encouraging farmers in parishes least affected by the drought conditions to ramp up agricultural production. Speaking with JIS News, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry, said parishes such as Portland, Westmoreland, and St. Mary are having a fair amount of rainfall, despite the drought in other parishes. “One of the strategies is to ramp up production in those areas that are not as severely affected by the drought. The plan is to have more farmers engage in production since they have water to counterbalance the inevitable fallout in areas that are impacted,” he explained. According to Mr. Stanberry, the Government has been looking at agriculture seriously over the last number of years and has been implementing irrigation systems all over the country. Due to the prevailing drought condition, assessments have been made of its impact on production and the Ministry is devising interventions for each affected area. “We want to advise farmers that when they are clearing their land, they should not use the slash and burn method. We would rather assist the farmer with water or assist someone to expand production, than to restore a field that is burnt out. We do not want the intervention programme to be about assisting persons who are burnt out,” Mr. Stanberry emphasized.
Meanwhile, the Ministry, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), will be undertaking a public education programme, to be rolled out with the Climate Change Programme. “The basic message of the programme is to show the farmer, alternative means of clearing their land other than using fire, because that is a clear and present danger right now, especially with this high breeze. Farmers will also be trained in water harvesting techniques, and how to use mulch to trap moisture,” Mr. Stanberry said.