Tue | Jan 18, 2022

RADA distributing seeds and pesticides to farmers impacted by Tropical Storm Grace

Published:Wednesday | December 1, 2021 | 9:57 AM
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Audley Shaw, who also has responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries, addresses an ‘Eat Jamaican Day’ event on November 25, 2021 – Contributed photo.

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) has commenced the distribution of seeds and pesticides to farmers who were seriously impacted by the passage of Tropical Storm Grace in August.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Audley Shaw, who also has responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries, noted that the Banana Board is also distributing fertiliser to banana farmers who have been affected.

To date, 551 of the targeted 1,055 farmers located in the worst-affected parishes of Portland, St Mary, St Catherine, and St James have received fertiliser.

Shaw made the disclosure at an 'Eat Jamaican Day' event held on November 25.

Meanwhile, Shaw informed that the Ministry continues to work with cocoa farmers to reduce the incidence of the frosty pod rot disease, through its plant quarantine produce inspection branch.

“Some $63 million has been allocated to conduct management of the disease for the 2021/2022 financial year,” Shaw said.

He noted that the prevalence of the disease, following the implementation of the management practices, is now at 2.9 per cent, coming from fields that were 100 per cent infected.

“In other words, only 29 out of every 1,000 pods are showing symptoms of the disease,” Shaw said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry's praedial larceny prevention coordination unit, headed by Superintendent Oral Pascoe, continues to work assiduously to provide training and sensitisation of stakeholders.

Six capacity-building sessions were held with 101 officers and for the period January to October 2021, 41 arrests were made compared to 69 arrests for the same period in 2020.

“We urge our farmers to report incidents of theft and to liaise with members of the team to get advice on how to better secure your farms against praedial larceny,” Shaw said.

- JIS News

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.