Agricultural land transformation coming


Agricultural land transformation coming

Bernard Lodge, Innswood to be highlighted; Israeli technology made available

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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Agricultural land transformation in sections of St Catherine, that is expected to bring increased productivity and eventually more commercial success to several farmers in the area, is scheduled to get under way over the next six to 12 months.

Speaking at the 2020 staging of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer- to- Farmer Conference at Liguanea Club in New Kingston last week, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw announced that the areas of focus are to include Bernard Lodge and Innswood, both located in the parish of St Catherine. The total acreage to be dealt with in these two areas is just over 6,000.

“This will be a dynamic partnership of large business operators and small farmers. These large business people have the financial capacity and the technology capacity to work with farmers in a mother farm concept, and provide technology support, fertilisation, upfront capital injection and guaranteed markets,” Shaw said.

He also added that the intention is to have similar projects replicated across Jamaica.

He noted that as part of the plans for the 6,000 acres of land, there will be a 3,000-acre farm that will utilise Israeli technology. He explained that Israel is an innovator in water technology, as the country extracts the salt from seawater to irrigate land.

Shaw while emphasising Jamaica's potential for agricultural productivity, which he claimed exceeds that of Israel, issued a challenge to Jamaicans to increase the level of productivity and coverage by venturing into the areas of agro- processing.

The USAID John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer- to- Farmer Conference was held from January 5-11 and consisted of participants from 13 countries.

The Farmer-to-Farmer Program aims to provide technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, agri-businesses and other agricultural institutions in developing and transitioning countries to promote sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production and marketing.

The programme's main goal is to generate sustainable, broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector through voluntary technical assistance.

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