JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, has announced that the Government is seeking to re-generate high production of irish potatoes in Jamaica, with assistance from Spain.
Speaking recently at a handing over ceremony for the renovated Devon Community Centre in Manchester, the Minister noted that the country once produced all the irish potatoes that it consumed, and outlined the imperatives of increasing local production.
“Thirty years ago we were self-sufficient in all the irish potatoes that we needed to eat. Today we are producing no more that 10 per cent of the Irish potatoes that are consumed in Jamaica, I have being working with Mr. Alvin Murray of the Potato Growers Cooperative, the Minister of Agriculture, a number of multilateral institutions, and the Ambassador of Spain who has demonstrated an interest in re-establishing irish potatoes, not only in North East Manchester, but across those hilly areas of Central Jamaica – Manchester, Clarendon, in St. Catherine, and in the hills of Trelawny and St. Ann. We have at least six parishes where we can produce Irish potatoes that are better than anything that we are importing now,” Mr. Shaw stated.
The Minister expressed his confidence in rural Jamaica’s ability to provide food for the nation’s consumption. In this regard he said the government is doing all in its power to reduce the price of fertilizer.
“I believe that the rebirth of Jamaica is going to come from rural communities like Devon, because it is communities like these that we have a strong sense of community spirit, it is in these communities that we can thank God and keep a hold of our little children. And so we are working to build the productive capacity of these communities, and work with our farmers to create wealth in rural Jamaica and stem the migration to the urban centres,” the Finance Minister said.
“As a government we are doing everything to bring down the price of fertilizer, the Prime Minister is working hard at it, he has met with other heads of government in the region, and based on his intervention and help from the Venezuelans we are likely to see a significant reduction in the price of fertilizer, because the high price has forced our farmers to cut back on production of a number of crops, but we want them to increase production at all levels,” he informed.