A team from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOAF), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), National Irrigation Commission (NIC), input suppliers and others led by Hon. Floyd Green, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries had a farm visit to Model Agricultural Production Limited (MAP) on Tuesday, June 2, 2021 at Innswood, St. Catherine. The team witnessed the outstanding efforts made through the utilization of technology and experimentation to increase onion and pumpkin production (among others) on a large scale.
The Model Agricultural Production Limited is an integral part of the government initiative to make available over 2000 acres of lands in the region to be used for agriculture. MAP employs over 25 persons on a regular basis (to include Agronomists) and an additional 50 field workers and have invested over US $2.5M to improve productions through agricultural technologies.
One of the major advantages of this mother farm concept is the benefits gained through knowledge transfer. Having the experience with technologies that are common-place in Israel, the Technical team from MAPL meets with a technical committee comprising of representatives from Bodles Research Station, RADA, Newport Fersan, Carib Agro and others on a weekly basis to share best practices and adaptation of techniques to suit the climate and locale. In addition, MAP has placed emphasis and ample resources in testing and experimentation which will ultimately assist small farmers in the utilization of new crop varieties and improve yields.
Given the successes achieved by MAP and plans to activate another 200 acres into production, Hon. Floyd Green mentioned that the organization is poised for export expansion. He also urged other investors to utilize the opportunity given. Hon Green stated “A part of the government policy initiative is to ensure that we facilitate agricultural investment.. If one makes practical investment in agriculture then returns will come.”