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Trelawny farmers could lose crops due to severe drought

Published:Wednesday | April 4, 2012 | 12:00 AM

FALMOUTH, Trelawny

North Trelawny has been experiencing a drought that could cause some farmers to lose as much as 30 per cent of their cash crops.

This was revealed by president of the Trelawny Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Kenroy Troupe.

Troupe said, "As you know we cannot be fully accurate but as high as about 30 per cent of the vegetable crop of some farmers could be affected and this is mostly in the north; the more permanent crops will do better."

He added that to prevent or lessen the loss, some farmers will use piped water on crops but that will be an additional cost which will also affect their profit margins. Troupe said he believed that the farmers in the south would be less affected because they are getting more rain in that area. He is hopeful that the rains will come shortly.

Troupe informed that when the rains start there will be another problem to deal with - pests. He said these are dormant during the drought but as soon as rains start they will come out.

In such circumstances, the JAS helps in providing seedlings and training, he noted. This training includes teaching farmers mulching techniques and covering soil usually with grass to prevent water loss. Troupe is hoping that in the future, there may be greater assistance available to farmers, including the trucking of water.

- R.M.