Aquaculture for all

Government to Reduce Food Import Bill

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

JAMAICA - The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will be pursuing initiatives aimed at enhancing Jamaicas food security and reducing the country's annual food import bill of US$1 billion.

Lucy Towers thumbnail

Portfolio Minister Roger Clarke identified some of the imported items, that "take a big chunk out of our import bill”, as wheat flour, corn, animal feed, rice and some fish products.

He said that the establishment of the eight Agro Parks will make a significant contribution to agricultural development, while moving towards food security.

“In these Agro Parks, the government will be working towards putting in basic infrastructure, such as irrigation, drainage, storage, and packing house facilities. We will be concentrating extension officers in those specific areas to deal with production, so that the farmers can have a continuous linkage with their extension officers,” Mr Clarke stated.

Over the next three years, some US$8 million will be invested to develop the parks in six parishes, including St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and Trelawny.

Focus will be placed on the production of onions, Irish potato, yam, honey, small ruminants, hot pepper, ginger, turmeric, pineapple, and on aquaculture.

In addition, Mr Clarke noted that the Ministry will seek to put in place a proper marketing strategy for the agricultural sector.

“We are even looking at an exchange, somewhat like the stock exchange, to deal with how we market our farm produce,” he said.

Create an account now to keep reading

It'll only take a second and we'll take you right back to what you were reading. The best part? It's free.

Already have an account? Sign in here