Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, is reporting an 18 per cent growth in agriculture during the first quarter of this year.
  • The Minister pointed to exceptional growth rates in the non-traditional sector.
  • The Minister noted that in 2013, ginger production reached a 25-year high of nearly 1,200 tons, with farmers in St James and parts of Hanover producing 376.8 tons of the amount.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, is reporting an 18 per cent growth in agriculture during the first quarter of this year, and a 13.1 per cent increase in the last quarter of 2013.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, in St. James, on April 21, the Minister pointed to exceptional growth rates in the non-traditional sector.

“Our Irish potato, yam, sweet potato, dasheen, ackee, ginger and pepper, to name a few, are all on an upward growth trajectory,” Mr. Clarke said.

The Minister noted that in 2013, ginger production reached a 25-year high of nearly 1,200 tons, with farmers in St James and parts of Hanover producing 376.8 tons of the amount.

Mr. Clarke also pointed to high levels of production in the agro-parks located across the island, particularly where ginger, onion, sorghum, yam and vegetables are being planted.

“We are also reaping. In St. Thomas at Plantain Garden agro-park, we are reaping ginger, pumpkin, callaloo and peppers, which have a ready market. Over at the Yallahs agro-park we have reaped some 20,000 lbs of onions which are now being sold in the Coronation market,” the Minister said.

Mr. Clarke said there has been a reduction in the importation of table Irish potato as a result of local farmers satisfying over 80 per cent of the local demand.

“Some 500 farmers are currently participating in the ginger programme,  compared to 384 in 2012. The ginger initiative provided employment for approximately 2,576 skilled and unskilled labourers in the 2013/2014 financial year, an increase of 824 over the previous year. Our projections are for continued growth in ginger production,” the Minister said.

Ten members of the St. James Associated Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), schools, colleges, HEART Trust/NTA as well as corporate entities participated in the show.