Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Growth & Jobs | Gov’t to assist prospective farmers in Clarendon

Published:Tuesday | February 25, 2020 | 12:19 AM

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, says technical and other inputs will be extended to former workers of the Monymusk Sugar Factory who received leases to parcels of land to do farming.

Green said agencies such as the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Agro-Investment Corporation will be involved in this undertaking.

“We will be facilitating soil tests for the entire area. RADA will provide guidance as to what are the best crops to plant, and we will be putting in place some agricultural aides or assistants, too,” he stated.

The state minister was speaking at a handover ceremony, held in Hermitage, Clarendon, on February 20, where five former Monymusk Sugar Factory workers received leases to ­parcels of land.

The Sugar Company of Jamaica has provided some 164 acres of prime agricultural lands on which the displaced workers who are interested in farming can now raise livestock and plant crops.

Approximately 26 former ­employees are to receive leases.

Green informed that agricultural assistants will be placed in the ­community to guide the farmers.

“I would love to see a former sugar worker, who has the training in crop production and who is from this area, to work with the farmers so [that] you just don’t plant something because you feel like it. We want you to plant what can work,” he said.

In relation to irrigation, Minister Green said two wells have been identified in the area on which the NIC is conducting tests to determine whether they can be utilised.

Meanwhile, the state minister informed that he has been in dialogue with the police regarding the issue of praedial larceny, noting that the capacity of the Praedial Larceny Unit will be bolstered.

“We really need more community-based policing if we are to deal with praedial larceny, because many of those who steal crops are from the same areas from whence they steal,” Green said.