Farmers Encouraged to Use Protective Gear When Using Pesticides

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is reminding farmers to wear the proper protective gear when using pesticides on their farms.Speaking with JIS News, Principal Director, Technical Services, RADA, Marina Young said the Agency has faced challenges with farmers, using the required gear such as, overalls, goggles, chemical resistant gloves and respirators.“The reasons are various including the fact it is very hot, because even if they spray early in the morning or late afternoon, they are still in the tropics where the temperature is quite high,” she stated.Mrs Young, further noted that based on RADA’s engagement with the over 36,000 farmers annually, the cost of protective gear is also an issue.“The most critical gear are the long-sleeves shirt, long pants, water boots and chemical resistant gloves.  The cost of the chemical resistant gloves is considered to be economical, as it is about $500 if bought in large quantities. However, respirators are the most expensive and can be between $4000-5000 depending on the brand and model,” she explained.Mrs Young, however noted that technology is developing very rapidly and protective gear can be simplified.“So instead of wearing overalls, farmers can use long-sleeve shirts and long pants which can be a lighter type of material,” she stated.Meanwhile, the Principal Director said local chemical houses have been supporting RADA’s aim, to increase the use of protective gear by farmers.“A number of them are now bringing in coveralls that are made of very light materials, some of the options even include disposables so there is no longer that challenge to access proper protective equipment,” Mrs Young explained.She added that RADA will continue to emphasize the importance of using protective gear, through its training sessions and workshops.“We will continue to highlight what protective gear to use, how to use them so that they can be used for a long time and reduce exposure to pesticides,” she said. Story Highlights “The most critical gear are the long-sleeves shirt, long pants, water boots and chemical resistant gloves.  The cost of the chemical resistant gloves is considered to be economical, as it is about $500 if bought in large quantities. However, respirators are the most expensive and can be between $4000-5000 depending on the brand and model,” she explained. The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) is reminding farmers to wear the proper protective gear when using pesticides on their farms. “We will continue to highlight what protective gear to use, how to use them so that they can be used for a long time and reduce exposure to pesticides,” she said. read more

Master Drainage Plan Completed for the Entire Island

The Government of Jamaica has completed a comprehensive national drainage plan to improve the drainage system which will put an end to the flooding in the Corporate Area as well as several flood-prone towns such as May Pen, Santa Cruz and Port Maria. Speaking in Parliament Tuesday (September 11) Prime Minister Holness stated that last year the National Works Agency (NWA) completed a Master Drainage Plan which gives a comprehensive overview of the gaps in the drainage system nationally. The Government of Jamaica has completed a comprehensive national drainage plan to improve the drainage system which will put an end to the flooding in the Corporate Area as well as several flood-prone towns such as May Pen, Santa Cruz and Port Maria.“When we are done, the entire Jamaica will be fully developed. Indeed, improving our road infrastructure is critical to productivity, connectivity and building a prosperous new Jamaica” said Prime Minister Holness.Speaking in Parliament Tuesday (September 11) Prime Minister Holness stated that last year the National Works Agency (NWA) completed a Master Drainage Plan which gives a comprehensive overview of the gaps in the drainage system nationally.“We have done the request for proposals for a drainage design for Kingston and St. Andrew. Hopefully, they will go to contracting within a month and the period of design will be this month. Hopefully, we will have that ready in terms of the major drains that will have to be reconstructed or new drains to be put in Kingston and St. Andrew,” said Prime Minister Holness.In that regard, the areas that would benefit from this new drainage plan would be primarily the Tinson Pen, Maxfield Avenue Areas, St. Andrew West Central and St. Andrew East Central constituencies which are major intersection points for the existing system and normally get flooded when it rains heavily.The Prime Minister told Parliament that the execution of the drainage plan is estimated to cost between 100 and 150 million US dollars. He also committed to updating the Parliament before the end of the year on possible timely arrangements for the project.Last year in his budget presentation, Prime Minister Holness noted that the Greater Infrastructure Development Programme will replace the Major Infrastructural Development Programme (MIDP) to focus on roads, gullies and drains as part of the infrastructure development.“The other areas that we are looking at now to have a specific plan which will fit into the national drainage plan which would be May Pen Santa Cruz and Port Maria, those are areas that flood regularly. So just to assure members that the government is working towards this, but I would want to alert members as well that the points that you have raised, I am sympathetic towards it. I am a Member of Parliament as well, I face the same issues, sometimes I want to turn to the Minister of State and say what is this but then the reality is that it all has to fit within the national budget,” said Prime Minister Holness.Additionally, Prime Minister Holness alluded to the fact that improper disposal of garbage, in particular plastics, has contributed to the flooding of the roadways as they block the drains.In that regard, Prime Minister Holness urged the Members of Parliament to use the allocation given to them for their constituencies to clear entrances to the inlets of the drains and gullies for the water to run off.In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness noted that this Hurricane season seems to be very active and Cabinet will discuss the matter to determine whether more allocations can be made in this regard. Story Highlights “When we are done, the entire Jamaica will be fully developed. Indeed, improving our road infrastructure is critical to productivity, connectivity and building a prosperous new Jamaica” said Prime Minister Holness. read more

Landlords Encouraged To Register With The Rent Assessment Unit

Director of the Rent Assessment Unit, Shenese Headlam, is encouraging landlords to register with the Rent Assessment Unit, in light of the impending amendments under the Rent Restriction Act.“The Act is currently being amended and some fines that are in the 1983 Act will be increased, so we are encouraging persons who have not registered their properties to do so, as the fines and registration fee will be increased by more than 100 per cent,” Mrs. Headlam told JIS News.She informed that currently, the registration fee for landlords is $20.00 and the fine for failure to register rental properties with the Rent Assessment Board (RAB) is $5,000 or imprisonment.“Some commercial properties may be eligible for exemption from the Act and [they] may call us to find out how they go about doing so. Exemption from the Rent Restriction Act would mean that these entities would have to settle disputes in a court rather than through the intervention of the RAB,” Mrs. Headlam shared.She said that among the issues brought before the Board are harassment by landlords and subletting by tenants.“Section 27 of the Act states that landlords should not harass their tenants and an eviction notice must be done through a parish court judge. Tenants who find that they are being harassed by their landlord, whether through deliberate utility restrictions or other means, should report the matter to the police,” Mrs. Headlam advised.She also noted that some tenants are delinquent and that the new Act will address this.“Landlords have been complaining about clients subletting the property, and we want to inform tenants that this is a breach of their contract and is grounds for the landlord to issue an eviction letter,” Mrs. Headlam told JIS News.She explained that the purpose of the RAB is to act as an unbiased party in settling disputes between tenants and landlords as guided by the Rent Restriction Act.The current Act applies to all building land, unless such land is leased for a term of 25 years or more, and to all dwelling houses, except those that are let for boarding, let for housing pursuant to the provisions of the Housing Act or declared exempt by the Minister of Housing, pursuant to section 8 of the Act.The Act has been amended 11 times since it was enacted, the last being in 1983. Director of the Rent Assessment Unit, Shenese Headlam, is encouraging landlords to register with the Rent Assessment Unit, in light of the impending amendments under the Rent Restriction Act. Story Highlights “The Act is currently being amended and some fines that are in the 1983 Act will be increased, so we are encouraging persons who have not registered their properties to do so, as the fines and registration fee will be increased by more than 100 per cent,” Mrs. Headlam told JIS News. She informed that currently, the registration fee for landlords is $20.00 and the fine for failure to register rental properties with the Rent Assessment Board (RAB) is $5,000 or imprisonment. read more