Drip irrigation project targeting food security

first_imgPhoto credit: Norman Grindley Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKingston, Jamaica, December 25, 2016 – Government is moving to safeguard Jamaica’s food security against the impact of climate change through the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) drip irrigation project.   Agricultural Specialist with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), which implements REDI, Vincent Thompson, tells JIS News that the project is an “aggressive approach” to minimizing the debilitating effects of climate change on agriculture.Mr. Thompson says despite Jamaica not experiencing extreme drought conditions this year, as prevailed in 2015 resulting in hiked food prices due to reduced outputs, the Government is endeavoring to be proactive in safeguarding the nation’s food supply.  This, he adds, due to the unpredictable nature of climate change.  Mr. Thompson reports that phases one and two of the project, undertaken in 2014 and 2015, respectively, have positively impacted nearly 1,160 farmers in 13 communities in St. Catherine, St. Thomas, Trelawny, Manchester and South St. Elizabeth.The farmers were provided with irrigation lines, drip kits, 1,000-gallon water storage tanks and harvesting implements.  They were also exposed to innovative farming techniques, food safety practices, business management, record keeping and marketing strategies.   The beneficiaries, who are members of the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) Limited Water Users Association, were provided with water from NIC pumping stations, such as the facility in New Forest, Manchester, and guided on efficient irrigation methodologies.Phase three will benefit 690 farmers in the South St. Elizabeth communities of Tryall, Red Bank, Ballards Valley, Essex Valley, Flagaman and Top Hill, where the fustigation technique was introduced to increase outputs.  Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers, soil additives and other water-soluble inputs into an irrigation system.  This is then applied directly to the plant root for optimal delivery of nutrients.“The farmers used to apply the fertilizer on the surface of the soil which, often, the nitrogenic factor in the fertilizer is volatilized by sunlight. Now, they are able to apply liquid fertilizer through the drip lines. So now they can reduce the cost of production, because they are better able to utilize fertilizers using fertigation,” he further states.Drip irrigation, Mr. Thompson contends, has significantly increased crop yields where utilized.  “We have found that, overall, our farmers in South St. Elizabeth (in particular) have been able to achieve up to (a) 60 per cent increase,” he says.  “With climate change, no one can predict when we are going to have drought, heavy rainfall or flooding. By providing the farmers with drip irrigation equipment during the dry season, they are better able to plan their production so we don’t have any shortages. (As a result) we (hope to) have a consistent supply of produce (from here, onwards),” he adds.Among the crops grown in St. Elizabeth are tomato, sweet pepper, scallion, thyme, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, as well as pumpkin, hot pepper, broccoli and cauliflower.  Mr. Thompson points out that a key advantage of drip irrigation is that farmers now have greater control of production.  “We can mitigate the effects of climate change, especially when we are going through a dry spell. We are actually changing the way in which farmers (cultivate),” he says.The drip irrigation project is also being carried out in the agro park communities of Colbeck, St. Catherine; Plantain Garden River, St. Thomas; and Braco, Trelawny, as part of the Government’s Onion Production Project targeting produce for the domestic market.The REDI project is being implemented with World Bank funding support totaling US$15 million, with additional financing of US$2.5 million from the Government and through community contributions.  The project, which started in 2010 and ends in July 2017, aims to improve market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers, as well as tourism product and service providers, through grants to support infrastructural development. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppcenter_img Related Items:last_img read more

University of TT signs USCaribbean education MOU

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, Medgar Evers College, university of trinidad & tobago Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppThe University of Trinidad & Tobago has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Medgar Evers College of New York to establish the USA-Caribbean International Education Consortium (UCIEC).The UCIEC is a partnership between three Caribbean universities and Medgar Evers. The other Caribbean universities included are the University of Guyana and EGC Martinique Business School. The MOU was signed in Port of Spain last Wednesday.According to T&T Education Minister, Anthony Garcia, the consortium seeks to promote and foster academic collaborations addressing the economic and social challenges of developing countries and historically disadvantaged peoples. Garcia added that officials are working toward have more Caribbean institutions join UCIEC in the near future.#MagneticMediaNews#USACaribbeanInternationalEducationConsortium Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Girl hit by a car in Marsaxlokk

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> A 12-year-old girl was run over by a car in Marsaxlokk.A police spokesperson said that the incident happened around 3.15pm on Monday on Triq Melqart, when the girl was hit by a car being driven by a 27-year-old from Żabbar.An ambulance was called on site which took the victim to hospital. The girl was certified to be suffering from grievous injuries.The police is investigating the case.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img