Former Director of Agriculture, Mr. Francis Henry has shared his thoughts on how he thinks the Agriculture Sector can maximize its potential even more.
Speaking in a brief interview earlier this week following the Official Handing-over Ceremony of the newly refurbished PDO Building which now houses the Agricultural Extension Division, Mr. Henry underscored the importance of putting agricultural waste to production and he has also identified areas in the livestock industry which he thinks can be broadened.
The former DA said that while we should go for increased poultry production, he thinks that small farmers should also consider investing in rabbits and guinea pigs.
“I’m intrigued with the idea of using agricultural waste to convert into agricultural production and as I said, I think both rabbits and guinea pigs might well be one of the areas in which we can increase our production,”
Francis noted that he has seen quite recently one new variety of cassava and he believes that Cassava can become the dominant root crop.
“I’ve read a marketing report which indicates that it is cheaper to produce sweet potatoes and we can produce more cassavas and we can store, even if we don’t wax; get into the expense of waxing, we can peel and freeze. I’ve had cassava in my fridge for six months and they are as good as goal when you put them on the fire,” Mr. Francis stated.
The former DA also thinks that it’s time that a look be taken at the high price crops that are being imported and seek to work on local crops that can be exported.
“We have successfully produced cauliflower and broccoli; I think we can go for more of that. There are a range of other crops we can produce and we have to look at mulching and when we don’t have water.”
In response to the call from some quarters, especially amid this COVID-19 Pandemic, for agriculture to go neck and neck with tourism, Francis shares this:
“We cannot expect agriculture to give us what tourism is giving us right, but you can use agriculture to increase the output and productivity of tourism; that is the important aspect. We can’t get back into 40 percent of the GDP in agriculture and expect to enjoy the same standard of living, it hasn’t happened anywhere over the world so we can’t look at it like that. We have to look at the possibility of making agriculture more productive and ensure that we reduce our waste by converting our waste into good produce.”
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