“The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in response to dry weather conditions that have been experienced by farmers over the last two consecutive quarters, continues not only to provide immediate relief, but also through various programmes, we are seeking to build the sector’s resilience to climate change,” he said.
He was addressing farmers at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church Hall in Southfield, St. Elizabeth on Thursday (November 26), following a tour of agricultural areas of the parish.
He noted that with agriculture being the single largest contributor to employment in St. Elizabeth, there is great need to protect the interest of the over 24, 000 farmers in the parish.
“Based on the fact that South St. Elizabeth…and South East also have the highest levels of vegetable and condiment production in the entire country, emphasis has to be placed on the most effective mitigating strategies,” he said.
Mr. Kellier said the Ministry will continue to work with partner agencies under the climate adaptation fund for the establishment of water harvesting facilities as well as to train farmers in climate smart agricultural practices.
He said that collaboration with the Meteorological Service will be sustained in order to develop usable forecast for farmers and install weather stations, which will provide real time information to guide the planting process.
“We have to set the stage in a way that you won’t even realise there is a drought. We have to create the conditions and make the kind of infrastructure available to you so that you can have water all year round; rain or no rain,” he told the farmers, while praising them for their resilience.
Minister Kellier was accompanied on the tour by State Minister, Hon. Luther Buchanan; Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, (RADA), Lenworth Fulton; and other officials.
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