JIS News

Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke has said that despite the many challenges the agricultural sector faced during the 2004/2005 period the industry recovered well to demonstrate sustainable growth.
Making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 7), the Minister said that the sector continued to have a positive impact on the economy, “as revealed in the export earnings from agricultural commodities for the 2005 calendar year, which amounted to US$147 million.”
He noted that this amount did not include sugar, the export value of which amounted to just over US$98 million, and when added, increased the total export value to more than US$245 million.
Describing the period 2004/2005 as arguably the most challenging for the agricultural sector in recent memory, Minister Clarke informed that it was estimated that Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc estimated at over $6.5 billion.
“It’s therefore not surprising that during the 2004 calendar year, real gross domestic product (GDP) in agriculture declined by 10.4 per cent compared to the previous year,” he noted.
Minister Clarke further pointed out, that production declined by 5.5 per cent, while meat and poultry production declined by 15 per cent.
Meanwhile, he informed that the Agriculture Ministry received a total allocation of $2,006,090,000, for the current financial year, an increase of $44,793,000 or 2.3 per cent above the revised estimates of $1,961,297,000 for the financial year 2004/2005.
The provision has been broken down in three categories: Recurrent $1,395,000,000; Capital ‘A’ $180,000,000; and Capital ‘B’ $431,090,000.