JIS News

Despite the prolonged drought affecting Jamaica, the agricultural sector grew steadily during 2009, registering the largest increase in production in the fourth quarter of the year, of 33.5 per cent.
Speaking at Wednesday’s (March 17) Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said that the fourth quarter for 2009 marked the sixth consecutive period of growth recorded by the sector.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has provided Cabinet with a report on crop production for the period of October to December 2009, which showed an estimated 13 per cent increase in overall production for the quarter.
Domestic crop production for the year increased by 22.4 per cent, all crops showed increases in production for the fourth quarter in 2009.
The Minister also pointed out that significant increases were recorded for condiments, such as peppers, 63 per cent; vegetables, 40.6 per cent; cereals, 32.4 per cent; yams, 26.7 per cent; and potatoes, 23.5 per cent.
All parishes recorded an expansion in production for the quarter, especially Portland, 106.9 per cent; St. Mary – 92.1 per cent; and St. Thomas – 69 per cent.
In terms of total volume, the Minister said that vegetables, yams, plantains, condiments and potatoes recorded the most significant increases.