JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture will be publishing the retail and farm gate prices of popular produce, to help consumers better plan their budgets.
The publication, which is being prepared, will be made available on a weekly basis, the Ministry has reported.
With the Marketing Division of the Ministry reporting up to a 700 per cent increase between farm gate and retail prices for certain produce, the initiative is intended to increase consumer awareness and highlight disparity, and to help them make informed choices and better manage spending habits.
Retail prices are published by the Consumer Affairs Commission on a bi-weekly basis. However, the Ministry plans to do a publication on Fridays, in order to capture more current information for shoppers. Consumers will then be able to go to market armed with valuable pricing information.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, speaking at the Hague Agricultural Show in Trelawny earlier this week, said that he would be launching an initiative to advise farmers of the best prices for their produce.
Publication of farm gate and retail prices will complement other measures being undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture to address rising food prices.
These measures include a renewed emphasis in agri-investment and ensuring that related support services are in place.
There are also production and productivity programmes, such as the promotion of select crops based on marketing information, and assisting young persons with training to start farming ventures. The imminent launch of the Centre for Excellence to provide up-to-date research services to support the sector, will complement these initiatives.
The Ministry has also doubled the corps of Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) extension officers, trained and equipped them with appropriate tools to better serve farmers and initiated financing initiatives for the agricultural sector.

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