JP Farms Lauded by Minister of Agriculture

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, has lauded JP Farms, in St. Mary, for the strides made in crop production, particularly pineapple and Beauregard sweet potato.
  • The Minister, who spoke with the media following a recent tour of the farm, said the company is producing quality crops for the various markets, while also expanding to meet existing and future needs.
  • The Minister emphasised that agriculture is big business, and “you have to be scientific in how you plant and reap. It is clear that those factors have come together to make this a success.”

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, has lauded JP Farms, in St. Mary, for the strides made in crop production, particularly pineapple and Beauregard sweet potato.

The Minister, who spoke with the media following a recent tour of the farm, said the company is producing quality crops for the various markets, while also expanding to meet existing and future needs.

“My wish is that they will expand more, and not only satisfy the local demand, particularly the tourism market, but also the export market,” he  said.

The Minister emphasised that agriculture is big business, and “you have to be scientific in how you plant and reap. It is clear that those factors have come together to make this a success.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry, who was also on the tour, informed that they discovered the UK and North American markets for the Beauregard potato, and in partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and North Carolina University, Jamaica has successfully produced the crop.

Mr. Stanberry is urging farmers not to “reuse the old slips, as we do with the traditional sweet potato, because they are susceptible to viruses and other diseases.”

The Ministry has established a laboratory at  Bodles Agricultural Research Station, in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, where farmers can obtain planting material.

General Manager of JP Farms, Dr. Damian Graham, said the company is stepping up its production of sweet potato from 54 to 150 acres; pineapple from  340 tonnes last year to 600 tonnes this year; cassava from 64  to 100 acres and   200 more acres of banana.

“We are looking regional, we are looking at the export market, and we are looking at the tourism sector,” Dr. Graham said.

Also on the tour were President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant; officers of the Ministry, and representatives of IICA.

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