Farmers' group president laments decline in research

Farmers' group president laments decline in research

Monday, December 09, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President Lenworth Fulton says the restructuring of individual commodity boards have stunted critical research activities in the sector.

Addressing the Yam Farmer's Biotechnology Workshop recently at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville, Fulton asserted that the 2018 combining of all agricultural commodity boards into the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulation Authority (JACRA) has negatively impacted agricultural research.

“We will have to work with the universities and the extension arm of the Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA),” he told yam farmers during the meeting which was under the theme, 'Taking biotechnology to farmers for sustainable yam production”.

Noting the importance of research to crop cultivation, Fulton advised yam farmers to use their phones to capture observations in the field, label, and transmit them to professors to conduct research using graduate students to develop solutions.

In addition, Fulton called on biotechnologists to assist in improving the yield per acre for yam — reducing it from the current rate of planting 5000 pounds to 500 pounds ideally.

“Using tissue culture, we want our farmers to use biotechnology to segregate their activities — grow yam for consumption or grow yam for planting material,” he said.

The workshop was a collaborative effort of NCU, The University of the West Indies, State University of New York, RADA and the Scientific Research Council.

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