JM: Harvesting under govt's cannabis cultivation pilot expected in four months

Farmers in Accompong, St. Elizabeth, who are part of the Government’s cannabis cultivation pilot project are expected to commence harvesting the plant within four months. This is according to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson.

“The Accompong (farmers) already got their seedlings and they are about to move them out of the greenhouse and into the open field. We have already had 10 acres prepared, and those 10 acres are going to be planted with legal marijuana. We are hoping that we will be reaping within another three to four months,” the Minister informed.

He was addressing patrons and participants attending the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, which was held at the Montpelier Showground in St. James on Monday (April 22). As part of the project, the Government is looking to cultivate 50 acres of the plant for use as raw material in a variety of commercial products, including oils and animal feed.

The programme complements the Alternative Development Programme (ADP) that was implemented in Accompong and other communities in March, to provide small-scale farmers with a channel through which to benefit from the cannabis (ganja) industry.

The ADP aims to prevent and eliminate illicit ganja cultivation and channel the process through legal streams. The pilot has been initiated in Accompong, St. Elizabeth and Orange Hill, Westmoreland.

“We are (also) going to be moving into other areas where we are going to ask the traditional ganja planters to get themselves into groups so we can come and provide you with all the necessary information, so that you can be growing cannabis legally,” Mr. Hutchinson further highlighted.

The Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show was organised by the St. James Association of Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS). It is staged annually to promote the work of farmers in western Jamaica.



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