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Samuda to promote hydroponic farming in inner cities

Published:Friday | September 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda is looking to promote the use of hydroponic operations to grow crops such as vegetables in inner-city communities.

This is in an effort to get persons in these communities engaged in the agricultural sector as well as provide them with employment.

Hydroponic farming allows the growth of crops in areas where the soil is not ideal or not available, and Samuda said this would not only provide food for the community, but with the use of high-quality seeds, could expand, providing them with enough to sell to the wider community and even for export.

He described agriculture as the cornerstone that will spur significantly higher economic growth for Jamaica, and said the utilisation of proper field management systems was one way of ensuring that the quality of the crops cultivated, particularly for export, meets international standards.

"If we engage ourselves in a modern and constructive way, we can really make strides. We have to get to the stage where we cut our import bill of food supplies dramatically, because it is only by doing this that we are going to be able to retain the foreign exchange that comes in through other export areas," said Samuda.