Fri | Oct 19, 2018

NEPA hosts land husbandry workshop in St Thomas

Published:Friday | January 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Nelsa English-Johnson

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) conducted a three-day land husbandry workshop in St Thomas, aimed at improving sustainable land management (SLM) practices in the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed.

The Train the Trainer short course, which started on Tuesday at the Bethel Callum Park in Cedar Valley, is part of the Integrated Management of the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed Management Areas Project.

Project coordinator, Nelsa English-Johnson, said that the aim of the training was to implement best practices for soil conservation, especially in farming communities.

"We have severe degradation that is happening as a result of deforestation, improper agricultural techniques and fire being used for land clearing, so we're looking to put interventions in place to curb those practices," she said.

Focus is being placed on sustainable ways of clearing land, planting on a slope, how to minimise soil erosion, and planting cover crops (green manure) to improve soil productivity.

"The workshop looked at the correct measures to be employed to protect the soil from washing away, the correct way to plant tree crops, and the best way to preserve land, whether it is for agricultural purposes, forestry or building purposes," she noted.

Participants were to be taken into the field for practical demonstrations on land husbandry.

English-Johnson said the training was facilitated by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).

Participants were drawn from farmers' groups and agencies that work in the watershed areas, and include RADA, NEPA, Forestry Department, National Irrigation Commission, Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust.

St Thomas Bee Farmers' Association and St Thomas Environment Protection Association Benevolent Society.