JIS News

Agricultural production is showing a 5.8 per cent increase for the July to September quarter, when compared with the corresponding period for 2009, with domestic food crop production up by 13.5 per cent.
The figure represents a 16 per cent increase over the April to June quarter, which was plagued by severe drought.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, who outlined the production figures for the period at his Hope Gardens headquarters in Kingston on Tuesday (October 26), commended the farmers, noting that “they are true heroes in all of this.”
“They are very resilient and extremely committed to what they do.this particular quarter is traditionally not a high volume quarter, however, the data suggests that it was one of the most outstanding September quarters that we have had in the country and in the sector in a very long time,” he stated.
Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said vegetable production increased by just over 15 per cent; Irish potato by 27 per cent; condiments, 19 per cent; and cereals including rice by 23 per cent. The only crop that showed a decline was the fruits group with a fall in production of 3.4 per cent, which was heavily influenced by a 31.5 per cent drop in papaya production.
All the parishes had increased food production with St. Elizabeth and Manchester, which had suffered decline in the April to June quarter, rebounding to register 16.5 per cent and 5 per cent growth, respectively.
Dr. Tufton attributed the improvements to the Ministry’s productivity programme and response to the drought last quarter, training from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and the wetter than average summer.
He however cautioned that crop production for the fourth quarter will be faced with challenges from the damage caused by the passage of Tropical Storm Nicole last month.

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