(Jamaica Gleaner) Minister of Agriculture Dr Christopher Tufton is going after middlemen in the agriculture trade who pay farmers very little.
To achieve success in the move, Tufton explained to an audience during the Hague Agricultural Show in Trelawny, that he would be launching an information network to advise farmers of the best prices for their produce.
“We intend to begin a process where we are going to provide information to our farmers using a 1-800 number that will be launched soon, using the print media, using the electronic media if we have to, using RADA (Rural Agricul-tural Development Authority) to conduct weekly surveys of farm-gate prices and publishing these to prevent manipulation by the middlemen,” said Tufton.
The minister went on to describe the manipulation by some of the middlemen as “dishonest, immoral and wrong”, saying in one instance that they were selling produce as high as 700 per cent more than farmers got.
Meanwhile, Kenroy Troupe, chairman of the Trelawny chapter of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, said the thrust to have more young people involved in the agricultural show had not panned out and that his organisation would make changes and try again next year.
According to Troupe, there were more exhibits this year, when compared to last, which indicated good things for agriculture in the parish.
At press time, Carlton Smith was well on his way to retaining The Champion Livestock Trophy, having already won six first places.