Thu | Aug 16, 2018

RADA can't be for real!

Published:Saturday | May 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Claims made by a Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) representative on TVJ Prime Time News on May 10, 2018, that farmers are planting too much of the same crops across Jamaica is nothing less than irresponsible, reckless signs of a dereliction of duty or shortsightedness.

Isn't RADA's duty to encourage farmers to produce more? What was the intent of such a comment? What is the message that the farmers should take away from that comment?

Here's why I hold a different view. It cannot be that on one hand, it is constantly said by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, supported by statistical data from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, that when agriculture does well, the economy does well, and if it does poorly, the economy shows little or no growth. On the other hand, RADA, which is an affiliate of the Ministry of Agriculture in the same government, is telling farmers to plant less.

How could both positions peacefully coexist? I find it untenable, and so should the farmers!

If RADA thinks the farmers are producing too much, it means they need to go back to the agriculture minister and find a way to get market for the excess produce. That so-called excess is called profit, productivity, growth potential and foreign exchange in the raw or natural state.

Please change the scripts of problems or setbacks and use them to set up success. If you break the trend of the farmers producing more, how will the country realise its ambition of greater and sustained economic growth?

JOSEPH EDWARDS