Agriculture Ministry of Jamaica Installs Automated Weather Stations

Jamaica - Hon. Karl Samuda as Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries says the Ministry has installed several Automated Weather Stations (AWS), in major crop producing areas.

These, he said, are of critical importance to face a new climate that services component to support the building of the agricultural sector’s reliance to climate change.

“Climate-smart agriculture is critical to increasing productivity, incomes, enhancing reliance of livelihoods and ecosystems, and reducing and removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere,” Mr. Samuda said.

The Minister delivered the key note address at the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s (JAS) II National Agricultural, Food Security and Economic Summit, held on April 21, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, Downtown, Kingston. His speech was read by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dermon Spence. Several leaders from the Jamaican Diaspora, academia, and farmer attend this Food Summit.

In addition, he noted that the AWS systems allows for detailed analysis of climatic and weather related trends, and the planning of strategic interventions.

He pointed out also that the instruments provide reliable and timely data to farmers, to aid in decision making on crop planting, fertilization, irrigation, pest management intervention and spraying, as well as harvesting.

Meanwhile, Mr. Samuda said the transformation of the agriculture sector, is a “matter of urgency, for (the) sustainable increase (of) productivity and incomes.”

Throughly the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and other agencies, the Ministry has been utilizing demonstration plots to illustrate best practices in aspects of climate smart land husbandry.

Thus, farmers have received support with the establishment of onion plots, sweet potato plots, and other crops.