The Production Incentive Programme has been established by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and implemented through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority with the aim to increase and sustain agricultural production to meet market demand. The programme also seeks to protect the livelihood of rural farm families and positively impact national food security.
The 2019-2020 Production Incentive Programme is valued at $280M and targets the development of nine (9) crops to include: yam, ginger, dasheen, hot pepper, Irish potatoes, onion, strawberry and cassava. The programme is intended to benefit over 4000 farmers directly and indirectly.
In support of the 2019-2020 Production Incentive Programme RADA has provided technical expertise to farmers through training sessions, arranged meetings and field demonstrations. As it relates to material support, RADA has distributed planting materials, agricultural chemicals (insecticides, fungicides), plastic mulch, irrigation and spraying equipment to farmer beneficiaries.
Below is a brief update on the policy crops distributed to farmers under the Productive Incentive Programme as at November 2019.
Hot Pepper Production
The current programme seeks to increase the acreages of both red and hot pepper in order to satisfy demand of exporters and other agro-processors within the industry. RADA has distributed 550,000 pepper seedlings to farmers in the Parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Westmoreland, Trelawny and Hanover.
Yam Production (Yellow, Negro and Sweet Yam)
The primary aim of the Programme is to maximize and sustain the production of sweet, yellow and negro yam. This is based on the demand for these varieties. A structured management programme has been established to combat the Anthracnose disease that has been affecting sweet yam production. The Programme also seeks to expand yellow yam production in non-traditional areas and increase the production of negro yam in traditional areas.
National Irish Potato and Onion Programme
In continuation of the support of the National Onion and Irish Potato Import Substitution Programme there is a target for 25% and 100% of local production respectively. The procurement process for of both of these crops have commenced in line for the November planting season.
The objective of this programme is to produce clean planting material in the initial phase in order to increase production and productivity thereafter. A total of 40 hectares is currently being supported with agro-chemicals to control the Ginger Rhizome Rot disease and improve crop nutrition.
The traditional growing areas of St. Thomas, St. Ann, Clarendon, St. Catherine, Portland and St. James have been targeted for ginger production.
The Dasheen programme aims at expanding the production of dasheen within the traditional growing areas. Farmers have been supplied with clean planting materials and chemicals for the management of insect pest the Taro Leaf Hopper, which affects yield and quality of dasheen). A total of 154,275 suckers have been distributed to date.
This programme is implemented in collaboration with the Research and Development, MICAF, aiming to evaluate new varieties for open field production. The Programme also targets production of planting material for distribution to both greenhouse and open field farmers in the Parishes of Manchester and St. Andrew.
The aim of this programme is to expand and sustain production for the bammy producers in the agro-processing industry. Growers have been identified within the targeted parishes of St. Elizabeth, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Thomas and St. Catherine. A total of 35 hectares have been targeted for the first phase of this programme.
Based on market demand the programme targets the expansion of hectares of MD2 pineapples in the Parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, St. Ann, Clarendon, St. James and St. Elizabeth. This is a revolving programme to which each farmer will be required to give back suckers for redistribution to other farmers. This will ensure sustainability and continuity of the MB2 Pineapple Programme.