The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is working with a company that intends to process local foods for the United Kingdom (UK) market.
This was disclosed by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, during a siting of the House of Representatives on October 9.
He was making his contribution to a motion brought by Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Rev. Ronald Thwaites, regarding the increased use of nutritious local produce under the school-feeding programme.
“The company has indicated that it is exploring the feasibility of selling canned vegetables into the UK, our local hotels and for our school-feeding programme. These products will contain no artificial preservatives and will utilise 100 per cent Jamaican grown crops,” Mr. Shaw said.
He added that 1,000 acres of land have already been requested through the Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings (SCJ), for the expressed production of these crops.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said the Government is now rationalising the sugar lands under the SCJ.
“We will be encouraging investor farmers to apply for lands to produce those crops for which there is demand. In a meeting earlier with the SCJ, we had been advised that there have been hundreds of applications received for the leasing of thousands of acres for alternative crops. I will shortly be making an announcement on this after presentation to Cabinet,” he informed.
Mr. Shaw noted that there is no shortage of interest in alternative crops for production on these lands, such as onion, sweet corn, sweet pepper, Scotch bonnet pepper, papaya, sea island cotton, coconut, castor bean, bamboo, cannabis and mango.