The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will be conducting a crop-spraying trials pilot in the New Pen and Yallahs extension areas using drones this season.
“Through this we expect to use less and get more through greater efficiency in crop spraying,” Portfolio Minister, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said during a statement to the House of Representatives on Wednesday (September 7).
The initiative is part of efforts to promote the use of diverse technologies in agriculture.
Mr. Charles said the ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ National Campaign has propelled a wave of changes, prompting the sector to think and act smarter and engage in a deliberate approach to reduce waste, increase production, and improve efficiencies towards food security.
The campaign is the Ministry’s strategic response to the threat to global food security.
The objective is to ensure Jamaicans have access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious, safe and fresh local produce.
Meanwhile, in keeping with the promised support to assist new farmers with land preparation through a special $63-million incentive programme, the Ministry has issued the first tranche of $20 million to the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Minister Charles said 5,000 farmers will get assistance in preparing up to one acre of land, free of cost, as part of the continued strategic efforts to improve and strengthen mechanisation in agriculture and increase production and productivity within the sector.
“We call on all Members [of Parliament] to urge farmers in your constituencies to immediately contact the RADA offices to utilise this facility under our Grow Smart, Eat Smart production programme,” he stated.
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