Pearnel Charles, Minister of agriculture and fisheries

"Jamaican farmers must become more innovative and climate-smart"

Minister of agriculture and fisheries, Pearnel Charles, says the dangers of climate change make it even more important for Jamaica's agricultural sector to become more innovative and“climate-smart”.

Speaking at the official launch of a hydroponics project at the Holland Primary School in St Elizabeth on February 23, the minister said that farming has become a lot more sophisticated and that farmers have to be“smart” and cognisant of the clear and present danger of climate change.

“Even with the best of planning, nobody can predict what will happen tomorrow, whether it's a hurricane or some other disaster,” he noted. “In that regard, we have to be smart and strategic, and this is where the Hydroponics technology comes into play,” the Minister added. The concept, according to the minister, fits squarely with the government's drive to encourage Jamaican householders to contain their food bills, by growing some of what they eat and eating more of what they grow.

“This project forms part of the government's School Garden Programme, which increases the options for the production of vegetables within limited land space, and also, by extension, the idea of backyard gardening,” Charles said.

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