Ruddy Mathison, Gleaner Writer
MAYOR OF Falmouth Garth Wilkinson has asked members of the Trelawny Parish Council to start looking at ways how the council can assist farmers in the parish to identify a high-quality crop that can be produced on a consistent basis and sold to cruise ships calling at the Falmouth port.
The mayor, speaking at a recent meeting of the Trelawny Parish Council, said there was no reason why the present recession should be felt in the parish, given the vast resources that can be exploited to improve the lives of citizens.
"I want to hear common-sense proposals as to how we could empower our farmers to consistently produce a cash crop that could be sold to the cruise ships calling at our port," the mayor said.
Noting that he was aware of the logistics involved in this venture, Wilkinson said the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) can play the lead role in working with the council to help identify this crop and provide technical support for the venture.
Independent councillor Paul Patmore and Lloyd Gillings, who represent the predominantly agricultural divisions of Lorrimers and Albert Town, respectively, in Southern Trelawny, supported the idea.
Patmore proposed the formation of an agriculture committee on the Trelawny Parish Council to work with RADA, and Gillings suggested the establishment of a distribution centre from which the crops could be marketed.
Meanwhile, RADA parish manager for Trelawny, Mervyn Green, in his support of the idea, said his department would have to study the proposal and carefully look at the variables, including identifying a cash crop of top quality that can be produced on a consistent basis by farmers.
He said many factors will have to be taken into consideration, chief among them the establishment of a storehouse facility where the crops would be prepared for market.