1The Rural Agricultural Development Authority RADATopic : The need for Extension and Issues In ExtensionPresented by:Peter ThompsonZonal Director : Extension and Technology TransferApril 24, 2013.
BackgroundBackground Jamaica’s Agriculture is diverse and the farmingJamaica’s Agriculture is diverse and the farming population is approximately 243,000 farmerspopulation is approximately 243,000 farmers 80% of the farmers occupy 2 or less hectares80% of the farmers occupy 2 or less hectares 20% of farmers occupy 2 or more hectares but20% of farmers occupy 2 or more hectares butcould contribute at least 60% of total productioncould contribute at least 60% of total production In 2012 Agriculture contribution to GDP isIn 2012 Agriculture contribution to GDP is5.9%5.9% There are 120 Extension officers and specialistsThere are 120 Extension officers and specialists.2
3IssuesIssuesRADA tries to address the issue of ICT inAgricultural Extension on two fronts:A) Use of mobile cell phone to provide farmerswith information such as: weather warnings,cultural practices on specific crops, pests anddisease management etc. 70% adaptionB) Provide Extension officers with tablets equipwith internet service to provide real time data toHeadquarter and other stakeholders and toand toupdate data base to currency on a regular basisupdate data base to currency on a regular basis
4Ministry’s MandateMinistry’s MandateTo Support Agriculture and Agriculture ExtensionTo Support Agriculture and Agriculture ExtensionThe Theme isThe Theme is::““Eat What You Grow and Grow what You Eat”Eat What You Grow and Grow what You Eat”The Food Import bill for 2012 was approximately USThe Food Import bill for 2012 was approximately US 1.21.2Billion DollarsBillion DollarsMajor crops imported are as follows:Major crops imported are as follows: IrishIrish OnionsOnions CarrotsCarrots Garlic etc.Garlic etc.Export agriculture earned little overExport agriculture earned little over $ 300 Million US, major$ 300 Million US, majorcrops exported being cocoa, coffee, tubers and sugar canecrops exported being cocoa, coffee, tubers and sugar cane
Areas of FocusAreas of FocusThe Government expects Agriculture to driveThe Government expects Agriculture to drivegrowth:growth:• To provide quality extension service to allTo provide quality extension service to allfarmersfarmers• Allow farmers easier access to informationAllow farmers easier access to information• Real time information to farmers and stakeReal time information to farmers and stakeholders particular (marketing and financial inst).holders particular (marketing and financial inst).• Relationship building among stakeholdersRelationship building among stakeholders• Create Economies of Scale through ICTCreate Economies of Scale through ICT5
Major ChallengesMajor ChallengesWith all good intentions we are faced with theWith all good intentions we are faced with thefollowing challenges:following challenges: Age of the farmers and adaptation of technology Human and financial resources(Farmer/RADA) High cost of internet access avg. $30US/ Month Internet Coverage low, 60% New initiatives and innovations Electricity availability and cost6
RECOMMENDATIONRECOMMENDATION•Target women and youths who are moreTarget women and youths who are moreresponsive to technology adaptationresponsive to technology adaptation•Encourage Competition by granting license toEncourage Competition by granting license toother phone service providers to drive down costsother phone service providers to drive down costs•Investment in ICT infrastructure which isInvestment in ICT infrastructure which isdecentralizedecentralize•Clear ICT policy supported by governmentClear ICT policy supported by government•Private sector support to drive e-AgriculturePrivate sector support to drive e-Agriculturestrategystrategy 7
8Thank you for yourThank you for yourattention &attention &participation Itsparticipation ItsWednesdayWednesday"The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further thanyourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take youinto eternity." - Marcus Garvey.