RADA to improve water harvesting techniques for farmers

Chief executive officer of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Peter Thompson (centre), speaks with senior director of Technology, Training and Technical Information, RADA, Winston Shaw (left); and UnaMay Gordon, principal director, Climate Change Division, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, at a recent workshop in Kingston. (Photo: JIS)

The saying ‘water is life’ rings especially true for farmers. And with a prolonged drought parching sections of the island, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is seeking to make the precious commodity more accessible to farmers.

Speaking at a workshop on Accelerating the Adoption of Climate Smart Agriculture in Jamaica, Peter Thompson, the chief executive officer at RADA, announced that the authority will put in place sustainable water-harvesting techniques for farmers in a bid to bolster Jamaica’s food security.

“We will be looking at how we can rehabilitate some of the water catchments across the island.” 

— RADA’s Peter Thompson

Thompson said the authority has conducted an audit of the island’s public water catchment facilities with the objective of putting them back into service.

“We will be looking at issues related to earthen ponds. We will be looking at how we can rehabilitate some of the water catchments across the island. We have done an assessment of all the catchments we have identified, and it will cost in excess of $200 million to repair them, so we will be looking at some of those,” he said.

Thompson said that while the ‘Black Tank’ programme continues to be used by farmers in their irrigation activities, more sustainable systems need to be introduced to protect the agricultural sector from shocks associated with climate change.