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JIS News

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has reported that between January and March 2006, all forms of agricultural production increased by some 24.7 per cent, relative to the corresponding period last year.
According to the PIOJ Quarterly Reviewtitled, ‘Economic Update and Outlook’, the tables had turned in the sector, which demonstrated marked recovery from the effects of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and droughts in 2005, which caused a 26.1 per cent decline last year.
The report states that there was an 18.6 per cent increase in output for domestic crops, the major agricultural sub sector, “due to an increase in the hectarage of crops reaped as well as improvement in productivity”. Some 9,410 hectares of land was under crop cultivation, with St. Elizabeth having more than 29 per cent of this hectarage under production, the most dominant parish growing domestic crops at the period of review.
Furthermore, with some 4,564 tonnes of plantains reaped between January and March of this year, there was noticeable recovery in plantain production, which had been severely interrupted by hurricane Ivan. A 613 per cent change was experienced over last year’s review period, when only 640 tonnes of the crop were reaped.
Meanwhile, considerable growth was recorded for the traditional export crops sub sector, which saw a 65.2 per cent growth over last year, with crops such as banana, sugar cane, coffee and cocoa.
The crop recording the highest growth was banana at 80 per cent, considering its demise during hurricane Ivan when no export of the fruit was done. Coffee export rose by more than 74 per cent, followed by cocoa at 50 per cent and sugar cane at 38.4 per cent.
Forestry and Fishing recorded a 7.5 per cent increase in production over the corresponding period last year. These sub sectors have been recovering from the combined impacts of Hurricanes Dennis, Emily and Tropical Storm Wilma, which had caused losses of nearly $994 million.