Adelphi farmers need urgent help
Despite the abundance of land and their willingness to revamp farming activities, farmers in Adelphi, St James, say that they are not getting the required help from the relevant government agencies in their quest to return to farming.
When the WESTERN STAR visited the community recently, some farmers were eager to explain why agriculture was no longer a viable option to make a living, noting that agencies such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) had been neglecting them in terms of support and assistance.
"We can do it (farming), but we nah get no help from the Government," said retired farmer Clinton Smith. "I used to plant ordinary ground (farm), and though mi have the land, is special people get the help. Mi nah get nuh money when mi go down a RADA. When I sign up with them, I don't see anything a gwaan fi mi."
Other farmers expressed similar sentiments, claiming that they would be willing to lease land and get back into farming once they could be guaranteed support from various government agencies.
Outside of their appeal for financial assistance, some of the farmers noted that lack of adequate water was also a major issue in Adelphi and requires urgent attention.
They say that the community is being plagued by frequent droughts that sometimes last for weeks, which greatly affects small farmlands as crops sometimes wither and die quickly because of the limited moisture in the soil.
"Wi want plant wi pak choi and callaloo, but wi nuh have no water," said Carlton Smith, another disgruntled farmer. "Right now, de government nah gwaan with nuttin. People want farm and plant their crops and rear them livestock but no water."
Smith, who has won champion farmer titles at various agricultural events islandwide, also lamented the high cost of seeds.
"Di Government need fi invest more in di agricultural sector Ö dat is the surest solution fi lift de country out a poverty and debt," he said.