The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is collaborating with Jamaica’s main fertiliser manufacturer to guide research for the development of new blends that will maximise efficiency and reduce the cost for farmers.
“Right now, our farmers, sadly, are utilising sometimes the wrong fertiliser and too much fertiliser. It is causing burning of our soil and it is constricting our productivity,” Portfolio Minister Pearnel Charles Jr., has said.
Making his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on May 17, he pointed out that the Ministry, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Agro-Investment Corporation (AIC), will be undertaking a new programme to train farmers on how to use local and farm materials to compost and reduce their reliance on chemical fertilisers.
He said using local materials has proven to promote higher yields of agricultural crops and healthier soil structure.
“It is our goal to reduce the dependency on the synthetic fertiliser. It is very important for us to use it, but we want to use it well and use it efficiently,” the Minister emphasised.
He said the Ministry is putting mechanisms in place for increased commercial production of organic fertiliser from composting from household materials, adding that this is intended to combat the effects of rising fertiliser prices.
“This is an existing project that we will be ramping up on a national scale. If it is that fertiliser costs too much, then Jamaica must pivot and we must utilise the mechanisms that will allow us to use what we have,” he added.
Mr Charles Jr. said the multifaceted approach that is being used by the Government also includes sourcing fertiliser from other countries, aside from Russia, which is at war with Ukraine.
Jamaica recently received 24,000 bags of fertiliser from the Kingdom of Morocco valued at $122 million. The donation, which was the third, formed part of a bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
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