PR – In an effort to increase production and assist farmers who have experienced reduced levels of production, the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry recently hosted a training session on yam production.
More than 50 participants – farmers and extension officers – were engaged by resource persons from the Ministry during this training session, held on the farm holdings of Victor De Gale and Bernice Frederick.
“This training was necessary because we have had a lot of complaints from the farmers in the area who work with yams. Many of them have expressed that they have issues with nematodes and anthracnose, which has affected their production,” explained Extension Assistant attached to the Eastern District, Prince Matthew, who provides support to the farmers in the area.
The training is part of ongoing capacity building and knowledge sharing ventures initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture, to support and encourage farmers to use recommended techniques.
The Ministry’s team demonstrated a number of important agronomic techniques, such as mini setting – a method that allows for the rapid multiplication of the seed yam and increased production of the crop, propagation of the crop, selection of planting materials, land preparation, crop rotation,
fertilisation and nutrition, pest and disease management and other cultural practices, all with the aim of improving crop management, reducing losses and increasing production.
“I was really enlightened with the information I received at the training. I have a better understanding of practices that can control and manage some of the diseases that I’m affected by,” said Clement Farray, a participating farmer from Birchgrove.
The Ministry identifies the month of May as the optimum planting season for yams and will make available a wide variety of the tubers for sale during the annual plant distribution season. Technical guides were also shared with participants, to assist farmers from the propagation to marketing stages of the crop.
Farmers and field officers who participated in the training are expected to adopt these best practices in yam production that will allow for increased production levels. The Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to practice and share the crop management strategies learnt, especially as it relates to growing resistant varieties, the use of clean planting materials and proper field management.