Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Farmers urged to maximise the use of technology

Published:Tuesday | May 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw (left) admires locally-grown bananas with Peter Thompson, chief executive officer, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, at the St Mary Agri-Expo at Gray’s Inn Sports Complex.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw is urging farmers to embrace the use of technology to produce high-quality crops and to protect the environment.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony, held recently at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus for the over 150 farmers, who participated in a 13-week training programme, Shaw said this was crucial for long term sustainability.

He argued that a scientific approach to farming will "increase output and produc-tivity, while at the same time preserving the land for the future".

The minister noted that opportunities are available for farmers to grow onion, cassava, industrial hemp, coconut, banana, and sorghum.

Shaw stated that the Government is working to create new markets for farmers, adding that farmers can maximise the export opportunities provide through CARICOM.

"As a Government, we are going to work on your markets, we are going to work on your linkages, because we want our farmers to have a better life," the minister told his audience.

Over 150 farmers from communities in the parishes of St Thomas and St Andrew celebrated the completion of the 13-week training programme in which they were taught how to implement climate-smart land husbandry practices to improve their production.

"The best way you can symbolise the importance of this training is to go forward and commit yourselves to productivity," Shaw said.