Harry Watch women want better day in agriculture


June 21, 2016
Ian Allen/Photographer Cherry Warren (left) and her daughters, tend to their farm which is located at Harry Watch, Manchester.
North West Manchester MP Mikael Phillips

It was an unusual sight, three women toiling away on a farm under the merciless sun in Harry Watch, which sits on the border of North East and North West Manchester around 9 a.m. last Wednesday.

But, for Cherry Warren, waking up early to tend to her produce has been a part of her daily routine since 1967.

The mother of 10 children proudly told THE STAR that for more than 45 years she has financially supported her family, using income gained from her agricultural pursuits.

The 65-year-old, however, said that she discouraged her children from becoming farmers although three of them are currently engaged in that vocation.

"Me no want them come in a farming, enuh. Me just asked them fi help this morning, but me no really want them involved in it cuz it no good like one time," she explained.

not fruitful

Pointing to her plot of land that has banana, yam, sweet potatoes and cocoa, Warren lamented that agriculture was not fruitful anymore.

"When me just start out as a young farmer, you used to get money for your produce, but nowadays you haffi a pay pure debt. It nah make no money again," she complained.

Despite her negative view of agriculture, the farmer still encouraged members of society to grow food for themselves.

"This is a good way fi make a living. You fi try fi yourself because a no every food you fi buy so people can eat what them grow," she argued.

Mikael Phillips, the Member of Parliament for North West Manchester, said that his office has been supporting the growth of agriculture, but concedes that there are some limitations.

Phillips said that in addition to providing farmers with seeds and fertilizers, there is a programme which is delivered through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) through which a tractor is provided to plough the lands.

"We are looking at putting in storage facility for farmers," the MP said.

He said too that agriculture has the potential to deliver rich rewards for its practitioners. However, he said that for farming to be considered a sucess, it must be treated as a business.

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