10 February 2014
JAS signs agreement with FFP for Red Peas Planting
The farming community has been provided with more red peas for planting, as seeds valued at US$25,513 (J$2.72 million), have been handed over to the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) by Food For the Poor (FFP).
An agreement, which outlines how the distribution will work, was signed on February 5 by President of the JAS, Senator Norman Grant and Executive Director of the FFP, Mrs. Jacqueline Johnson, in Spanish Town, St. Catherine.
The agreement also provides for the procurement of technologies that will assist farmers to increase their production, and assist the JAS to improve its capacity to deliver the necessary support to targeted groups.
The Jamaica Agricultural Society Enterprise Limited (JASCEL), a marketing company, will purchase the red peas from the farmers, under a partnership with importers of red kidney beans, with the aim of moving Jamaica from being a net importer of the produce, to a net exporter.
In his address, Senator Grant said the beneficiaries will be required to return 10 per cent of total yield of the first crop to the JAS, as part of a revolving programme being operated by the organization.
He pointed out that under the project, 1,500 farmers will be trained, adding that the support from the FFP “will go a far way in ensuring that farmers who want to be involved will get an opportunity to do so.”
“We are taking a step forward to reawaken an industry that values close to $2.5 billion, to save foreign exchange, provide jobs, and create economy of scale for farmers,” the President said.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Johnson said since the FFP established an agricultural branch in 2004, farmers across the island have received support in the areas of seeds, tools, beekeeping, goat and pig rearing, as well as plant nursery.
She pointed out that the donation of red peas is to give support to the ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign.
“It is our hope that this donation will help to increase the quality and quantity of beans produced,” Mrs. Johnson said, noting that the beans have medicinal properties for persons with certain needs.