Sup­port for Ir­ish potato farm­ers

Jamaica Gleaner - - ACROSS THE NATION -

THE GOV­ERN­MENT is pro­vid­ing some $1.1 bil­lion to as­sist farm­ers, un­der its Ir­ish Potato Ex­pan­sion Pro­gramme, to meet a tar­get of 1,200 hectares of pro­duc­tion.

Sup­port to boost the pro­duc­tion of Ir­ish potato will be in the form of a $48.3mil­lion grant and more than $700 mil­lion of in­put, in­clud­ing ex­ten­sion services, says Min­is­ter With­out Port­fo­lio in the Min­istry of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries J.C. Hutchin­son.

Mak­ing the dis­clo­sure at an Ir­ish potato pro­duc­tion sem­i­nar held at the Guy’s Hill Civic Cen­tre in St Catherine on Wed­nes­day, Hutchin­son said a ready mar­ket is avail­able for Ir­ish potato, where farm­ers can make a profit.

Hutchin­son pointed out that farm­ers will be trained un­der the project in ar­eas such as spray cal­i­bra­tion, new plant­ing tech­niques, and ap­pro­pri­ate use of fer­tilis­ers, to co­in­cide with the 2016-2017 crop sea­son.

He added that there will also be demon­stra­tion plots and train­ing in proper land prepa­ra­tion, land hus­bandry, as well as pest man­age­ment.

The na­tional potato ex­pan­sion pro­gramme is part of the Gov­ern­ment’s over­all strat­egy to en­hance Ja­maica’s food and nu­tri­tion ca­pac­ity, with the aim of re­duc­ing im­ports, be­com­ing self-suf­fi­cient and pro­vid­ing more in­come for farm­ers.

Min­is­ter With­out Port­fo­lio in the Min­istry of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries J.C. Hutchin­son (sec­ond right) in dis­cus­sion with Der­mon Spence (left), chief tech­ni­cal direc­tor in the min­istry, at an Ir­ish potato pro­duc­tion sem­i­nar held at the Guy’s Hill Civic Cen­tre in St Catherine on Wed­nes­day. Oth­ers (from left) are CEO of the Ru­ral Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Author­ity Peter Thomp­son and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor at New­port Fer­san Den­nis Valdez.

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