In an effort to encourage knowledge sharing among farmers and extension officers, the Northern District of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, hosted officials and farmers from the Western District on Thursday, 29 August 2019.
The exchange visit was organised by the Extension Division of the North, which allowed participants to visit three sites: Diamond Chocolate Estate, farms of Denrick Charles of Waltham, St Mark and Stephen Lewis of Chantimelle, St Patrick. The initiative, which was held for the first time for this year, provided a platform for agricultural officers and farmers alike to be engaged on important matters involving the sector.
“This is wonderful, I really appreciate the thought and activity today. It is important to share ideas and to experience different farms and their techniques. I think it is a good exercise,” said Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Yolande Bain Horsford.”
The participants got to understand the different stages of production of chocolate at the Diamond Estate, understand the dynamics of soursop and short crop production.
“It was very informative, very interactive; the farmers in the Western district got to see the agricultural practices utilised by farmers from the north. It allows farmers to learn from other farmers,” said participant Eamon Thomas, Extension officer with the Climate Smart and Rural Enterprise Development Project (SAEP).”
Assistant Extension officer with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Western Division Brenda Phillip also spoke highly of the session. “It gives farmers an opportunity to network with each other, explore the different geographic areas to see what different farmers do.”
The undertaking is an educational initiative which allows participants to socialise said John Jogie, Extension Officer for the North. “We want farmers to educate themselves along the line but at the same time we must socialise and interact with each other. There may be practices which may be learnt, that may be beneficial to another farmer on another holding.”
Maximus Lazarus District Supervisor for the North spoke of the importance of having such undertaking and hopes that the event will become an annual one. “Farming is basically the oldest profession. Farmers don’t usually take a day to interact and socialise but there should be a day when farmers islandwide take a day from the farming activities.”
The day ended with a small get together at the Plains playing field in St Patrick, where farmers and other members of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands were engaged in many social activities.
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands