DENBIGH 2023: Green urges support for ‘blood, sweat, tears’ of farmer Loop Jamaica

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Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Minister Floyd Green speaking at the Denbigh show in Clarendon on Saturday. (Photo: Llewellyn Wynter)

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Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Minister, Floyd Green, has urged Jamaicans to buy more locally produced agricultural goods to support and encourage farmers who are weathering extreme drought and the challenges brought on by record high temperatures.

In citing the “blood, sweat and tears” of the farmers, which he said were evident on the displays at the parish pavilions and other areas off the showground at the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show, Green said “these are not normal times”, adding that it takes extreme efforts and determination to overcome some of the present challenges.

In noting many innovations that are on display at the annual show in Clarendon, Green cited, for example, the use of bamboo in place of plastic pipes in hydroponic production.

He also said amid the ongoing drought and otherwise harsh climatic conditions, the country has to be planning for even worse scenarios in the future, hence the need for continued innovation and resilience.

The minister said in the face of the challenges, there are numerous crops which offer great potential for successful cultivation. These, he said, include yams, sweet potato, ackee, and breadfruit, as export demands for the crops far outstrip the local production levels.

Green also pointed to goat rearing as having great potential, stating that the island is still importing more than 80 per cent of the national demand for ‘mutton’.

He also announced that the country now has 22 per cent of it agricultural lands in the hands of young farmers, this after having set a goal of reaching at least 20 per cent.

In expressing pleasure at the accomplishment, he said more announcements in the area of agriculture are expected to come from Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Monday when he is to highlight the closing day of the show.

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