Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Farmers encouraged to practise intercropping

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
J.C. Hutchinson

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) J.C. Hutchinson is encouraging farmers to practise intercropping to maximise their earnings.

Speaking on Tuesday with farmers from St Andrew, as well as Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) extension officers, at the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions headquarters on Hope Boulevard, St Andrew, Hutchinson opined that intercropping will ensure that there is a steady income for the farmers.

Intercropping is the practice of growing two or more crops simultaneously on the same plot of land.

The minister also noted that intercropping would give farmers a higher income per unit area than sole cropping.

Hutchinson told the farmers that they must work to get the most out of their farms, and recommended quick-growing crops like scallion, Irish potato and peas for intercropping.

"Most of you are coffee farmers, and coffee takes three to five years to mature, so you need to plant a cash crop that can give quick and short returns," he encouraged.

The minister pointed out that these small crops can be reaped within three months after they are planted.

Hutchinson said this type of farming acts as an insurance against failure of the major crop and reduces soil run-off during heavy rains.