Special emphasis will be placed on the Farm Road Programme this year, says Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green.
Addressing stakeholders and patrons at the 27th staging of the Kingston and St Andrew Agricultural Show (Agrofest) at the Ministry’s playfield, in Kingston, Green said during consultations with the farmers, concerns were expressed about the state of the roads in several areas of Kingston and St Andrew.
“We have to accelerate the pace of execution [of repairs] for our farm roads; and I want to say to [the farmers] that we’re going to be focusing on St Andrew Eastern, Western, West Rural and East Rural, in relation to doing some farm [road] works in that area, so that it’s easier for them to get their produce to market,” he added.
To date, according to Minister Green, over 10,000 farmers are registered in Kingston and St Andrew.
He informed that over 50 per cent of those persons are coffee farmers, resulting in the parishes achieving the largest islandwide production for the crop.
Green said the Ministry would be engaging with coffee farmers in the next three weeks.
“We want to see what more can be done to ensure that [the] coffee [industry] grows, and that we’re able to supply the international demand,” he added.
The Minister pointed out that some 3,000 farmers from the two parishes were trained in 2022.
“We were able to work with them, in terms of direct interventions regarding things like strawberry production, in the hills of St Andrew,” he said.
“Last year we saw growth, moving the production numbers in Kingston and St Andrew to 11,881 tonnes of agricultural produce. So, we really want to tell the farmers to keep at it,” Minister Green stated.