Agriculture positively impacting many lives, says senator

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PARLIAMENTARY Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Senator Robert Nesta Morgan says agriculture is undergoing a type of renaissance that is positively impacting many lives as well as communities across Jamaica.

Addressing teachers and students at the Knockalva Polytechnic College Agro Fest in Hanover last Thursday, Senator Morgan said it is against this background that he is encouraging more young persons to get on the agriculture train.

“We have to change our mindset as adults and to tell our young people that there is a world of prosperity in farming,” he said.

“There are farmers now who are selling millions of dollars worth of cabbage to hotels on the north coast. There are farmers here in Hanover who are selling thousands of pounds of rabbit meat to the hotels. There are also farmers all over the country making spices for both the domestic and export markets. Farming is big business,” Senator Morgan added.

He said it is very easy for the farmer to be stigmatised and for persons to have the mistaken belief that farming is “a dirty job”, adding that this is the kind of mindset that has swayed many people away from the profession, leaving a lot of opportunities faltering by the wayside.

“You might see a farmer driving a BMW and wouldn’t know that he or she is a farmer,” Senator Morgan said.

He noted that farmers are now wearing jacket and tie and are satisfied with the knowledge that they are participating in a very sophisticated industry where they earn a lot of money and provide for their families.

Meanwhile, Senator Morgan said the importance of technology to agriculture can never be overstated, adding that it has greatly enhanced production as well as the quality of products.

He pointed out that technology has become an important tool within the sector and that many Jamaican farmers have now embraced the science with open arms.

“There was a point in time when persons didn’t believe that greenhouse vegetable was good vegetable. There was a point in time when persons would say they would not buy the carrot, because it was fertiliser carrot. They did not recognise that fertiliser is not necessarily a negative thing and that there are indeed different kinds of fertiliser,” he said.

He has encouraged even more farmers to capitalise on the available technology, noting that it can only increase their yields and, in return, generate more profits for their pockets.

“The modern farmer is no longer the man with a cutlass and a donkey. The modern farmer is a sophisticated scientist who understands how to use the technology to his advantage,” he added.


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