Restructuring of RADA coming - J.C. Hutchinson
William J.C. Hutchinson, on Thursday, promised a restructuring of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in order to achieve greater fiscal accountability.
Hutchinson, who is minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Fisheries and Agriculture, has long expressed concern that money and agricultural inputs intended for farmers usually get channelled elsewhere, without anyone being held accountable.
He used the official launch of AgriHope, a pilot project, which is the brainchild of Juliet Holness, East Rural St Andrew member of parliament, to explain that some operations of the RADA, including financial assistance to farmers, would fall under the auspices of the new organisation.
"The money coming through RADA will come directly to the PMOs (production and marketing organisations). We will send the money directly to your organisation, where it doesn't go through anybody else and filters off. Many times the money goes somewhere else, to persons who are not genuine farmers.
"So it is going to come to you the farmers, where you determine who are the most needy ones at the point in time," the member of parliament for North West St Elizabeth told farmers at the RADA St Andrew branch office.
The veteran politician had the audience thinking aloud when he announced that in order to get young people into farming, "anything you plant and you mek money outa it, I am prepared to help with the fertiliser".
Without going into details, Hutchinson, who is also a farmer, went on to extol the value of cultivating the mystery crop(s) in helping to keep young people out of trouble.
"It is one of those things that whenever you get out there and work, and by the time some of them finish working in the afternoon - some of them have to go into night, too - you find that they are dead tired and them cant go and rob nobody house or break nuh shop; them haffi go to bed," he added.