JIS News

The first shipment of 500 tonnes of fertiliser arrived in the island on October 24 from the United States, as part of the Government’s move to source cheaper fertiliser for farmers.
Speaking with journalists at the Kingston Wharves, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, said that 500 tonnes of fertiliser would arrive in the country every week for the next five weeks, totalling 2,500 tonnes being imported.
“These blends that are being brought in, can support crops like coffee, sugar, banana, as well as domestic cash crops. They were tested independently by a laboratory in the United States to ensure quality,” he explained.
Dr. Tufton informed that he would be tabling a Ministry Paper in Parliament on October 28, to give more details about the shipment.
Outlining how the fertiliser would be distributed, the Minister said there was a pre-determined set of distributors, which include the Commodity Boards, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), and the Jamaica Livestock Association, that would be providing distribution outlets throughout the country. “So, in every single parish, there will be a distribution outlet to provide the product,” Dr. Tufton pointed out.
“The price will be below $4,000 per bag at the retail level, so it’s significant savings, anywhere between 15 and 30 per cent,” the Minister noted.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, said the shipment was handled through his Ministry. “The negotiations, everything to do with the actual purchase of this fertiliser, was done through our Ministry, but in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture,” he informed.
Mr. Samuda said that another shipment of 25,000 tonnes of fertiliser that has been ordered from Russia, would be coming into the country early next year.