JIS News

Domestic crop production recorded an estimated 6.5 per cent increase for the July to September quarter of 2021, with chicken meat up by 20.4 per cent and eggs 2.8 per cent.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, who also has responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries, made the disclosure at an ‘Eat Jamaican Day’ event on Thursday (November 25).

“This is a testament to the continued resilience and commitment of our farmers to the sector, thus ensuring that we have food on our table. The Ministry remains committed to building the resilience of the sector through support to our farmers in their bid to increase production,” Mr. Shaw said.

He noted that the Government remains firm in its resolve to put idle, arable agricultural lands into the hands of farmers.

“In that regard, we have leased land made available from the right-sizing of the sugar industry to our farmers for crop expansion and diversification. Over the last three and a half years, Sugar Company Jamaica Holdings Limited has approved some 347 leases covering approximately 19,899 hectares,” Mr. Shaw said.

“An additional 69 of 172 selected farmers have received leases from the Agro Investment Corporation to occupy 1,800 acres of land at Holland Estate in St Elizabeth and we look forward to the official opening of the $100-million agro processing facility at Holland that will take place soon,” he added.

Mr. Shaw informed that in keeping with the Ministry’s thrust to get more youth involved in agriculture, “we have made 20 per cent of these lands accessible to our young people on preferential terms, to pursue their agricultural dreams”.

“To date, we have identified 50 youths, who will be leased approximately 372 hectares of land within our agro parks and production zones, with the first 10 slated to start operating in December,” he said.

As it relates to the 1,000-acre mango agro park being established in Clarendon, the Minister said more than 30 applications have been received [from investors].

“I am pleased to announce that within the next four to six weeks, five applicants, who will be investing $20 million each, will start operations on the agro park,” Mr. Shaw said.


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