The Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Stations will continue to increase production of selected planting materials with contracted farmers on the fields to increase the supply of planting materials to farmers awaiting assistance.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Dr Mahendra Reddy during his visit to the Naduruloulou Research Station yesterday.

“We will continue our agricultural research to release high yielding varieties. Farm-level productivity is quite low and one of the factors is low yielding traditional varieties. We will continue to do this over time, given a particular variety builds susceptibility to pests and diseases thus needing replacement.

“The Ministry is also organizing farm land to raise seeds and seedlings on which will then be distributed to contracted farmers to improve their production, with the development of an integrated production system focusing on promotion of cover crops, green manuring-mucuna, nitrogen fixing plants and pulses; fruit tree orchard package of practices; and fertilizer/pesticide management,” said Dr Reddy.

Plans are also in place for the implementation of management practices to control the outbreak of pests and diseases which would be coordinated by the Research Division through the use of recommended integrated pest management to reduce its population to a more manageable level.

Reddy elaborated that farmers training would also be conducted in all geographical divisions by the Ministry of Agriculture Research Officers to help familiarize farmers with the current best practices.

“The Ministry, through the Research and Extension divisions, will continue to assist farmers through various trainings in all the divisions on the new research techniques in order for farmers to have a better understanding of the research activities while at the same time, they could learn and practice the same techniques on their farms,” he said.

Minister Reddy is currently on a two-day Central Division tour, meeting with Livestock and crop farmers while also resolving agricultural and waterways issues.

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