Knockalva Polytechnic College to leady dairy resurgence out west Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

To revitalise the dairy industry, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green, has identified Knockalva Polytechnic College in Hanover as a key institution to lead this resurgence in western Jamaica.

In addressing the 41st staging of the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show at Montpelier Show Ground in St James on April 1, Green said the tertiary institution is to collaborate with the Jamaica Dairy Development Board to drive the  industry’s growth in western Jamaica and beyond in the coming years.

“Together we aim to come down to the school to develop some fodder, help them with a milking parlour, give them some cows and more, because we are going to use Knockalva to drive up back the dairy industry right here in (western Jamaica),” the minister added. 

Knockalva Polytechnic College offers a range of vocational and technical programmes focusing on agriculture, environmental management and other professional fields to residents of Hanover, St James and Westmoreland.

The institution now requires a capital injection to enhance its training and research capabilities, which Green assured will be provided.

“Knockalva Polytechnic College has served us well over the years, but (the institution) needs a capital injection. The school needs some resources to not only train, but to do research work (because) we cannot improve our agricultural sector unless we have the highest levels of training and research,” he outlined.

In the meantime, he announced plans to allocate funds to the Montpelier Research Station in St James for research on ginger, turmeric and pimento, which all have significant global demand.

The station is also set to undergo rehabilitation as part of a $406 million project aimed at transforming research facilities into centres of excellence. The initiative is aligned with the Government’s goal of stimulating economic growth and development.

Green encouraged farmers to continue their hard work, assuring them of the ministry’s continued support.

“There is a lot to be done (and) the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining is here to support you,” he stated.

The minister also announced plans to reshape St James Southern to maximise farmers’ productivity and profitability, which he said will demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the success of the overall agricultural sector.

This year’s Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show was held under the theme, ‘Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow’.

The event, organised by the St James Branch of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), featured a variety of agricultural products and displays, including livestock, hydroponic farming systems, a farm queen competition, a marching band and more.