JIS News

Agriculture Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said the recent decision by the Government to permit duty free importation on chicken meat during the Christmas season, should alleviate any possible shortage of the commodity.
Dr. Tufton, who was speaking in a recent interview with JIS News, added that this action, however, might not be able to prevent a price increase. “It is not necessarily going to affect the possibility of a price impact as it relates to increasing world prices for things like feedstock, but prices should be affected based on supply, because we have made provisions for that,” he said. He also noted that the government has made provisions for the importation of eggs and kidney beans to prevent any possible shortage of the commodities during the season. “We have made provisions to bring eggs into the market. After having consultations with producers we determined that there might be a shortage for Christmas.and so we have made provisions for sufficient importation to take place to ensure that for Christmas, we don’t see a problem there,” the Minister added. In the meantime, Dr. Tufton said the Ministry would be undertaking a number of activities to cushion the impact of increasing food prices on local consumers, including the launch of a backyard gardening programme next year.
“We believe that we are at the stage now where we are going to have to encourage people, even with the smallest space that is available, to grow basic things. We are looking at providing or creating a backyard gardening kit that allows even a novice to do agriculture, to do a little thing,” he informed. The development of new farm tools and proper marketing systems for farmers are also on the agenda of the Ministry for the coming year.

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