Thursday 26 November, 2020

2,000 drip irrigation systems for distribution to local farmers - Shaw

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, admires a crop of West Indian red peppers during a tour of Gary Coulton’s farm located at the Spring Plain Agro Park in Clarendon on Friday, June 5.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, admires a crop of West Indian red peppers during a tour of Gary Coulton’s farm located at the Spring Plain Agro Park in Clarendon on Friday, June 5.

Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw, has said 2,000 drip irrigation systems are to be distributed to small farmers across the island.

He said the systems should provide farmers with access to irrigation for planting, and ensure that the agricultural sector continues to grow, despite a shift in rainfall pattern due to climate change.

Shaw was speaking during a tour of Gary Coulton’s farm at the Spring Plain Agro Park in Clarendon on Friday, June 5.

The minister, along with a team from the ministry and personnel from the Agro Investment Corporation (AIC), visited the farm to witness the reaping and packaging of West Indian red pepper.

The farm supplies some 10,000 pounds of produce weekly to GraceKennedy Foods, which manufactures and distributes a range of food items for consumers in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean and across the Jamaican Diaspora.

“This project symbolises exactly what can be replicated across the country in a range of other crops,” said Shaw on the tour.

He pointed to the need to get more idle lands into production to ensure adequate food supply to feed both locals and visitors coming into the country, and access to duty-free arrangement within CARICOM, and also to supply the Jamaican Diaspora.

Shaw said that the future of agriculture in Jamaica lies in the application of technology to maximise value-added production.

“The way that agriculture has to move is not just to grow things and sell them fresh. It is a vertical integration into agro-processing as part of a major programme for wealth creation in Jamaica,” he said.

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