Farmers urged to utilise services provided by extension officers
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Farmers are being strongly encouraged to get to know and utilise the relevant extension officers assigned to their divisions by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), to better their operations and to receive support.
The call comes from RADA Senior Agronomist, Locksley Waites, who was addressing farmers at a recent Stakeholder Engagement Session in Old Harbour, in St Catherine.
“Colleagues, you need to know your extension officer. Don’t wait until you have problems. They are knowledgeable people, they know their extension divisions and they are well paid, so you are to seek their help,” Waites urged.
He also advised the farmers to create a farm plan before they commence farming activities and to be guided by the extension officers before they encounter difficulties.
At the same time, Waites reminded farmers of their own personal responsibilities in making their farm operations a success.
“We are expecting you to plant and maintain your crops [and] we are expecting you to attend training,” he said.
The session was being held to sensitise farmers on the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining’s ‘New FACE of Food’ campaign.
Flagship programmes under the engagement will focus on several crops, including yam, breadfruit, sweet potato, ackee and mango, as well as small ruminants and aquaculture.
Waites’ presentation was on the topic, ‘Production of Crops for Export’, where he spoke to the demand of these crops and the ministry’s drive to ramp up production among local farmers.