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Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke, has reported growth in domestic crop production for 2006.The Minister, who was addressing a recent press conference at his office in Kingston, said that the sector increased by 20.3 per cent from 284,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2005 to 342,000 tonnes in the corresponding period last year.
He attributed the growth in the sector to the 89.1 per cent increase in budgetary allocation, with an additional injection of some $400 million to production-related areas; the island being spared from the ravage of a hurricane and other natural disaster; as well as targeted interventions under the agricultural development strategy to assist farmers to increase their productivity.
“The unprecedented increase in our budgetary allocation this year was a direct result of the Prime Minister’s commitment to give priority to the expansion of the agricultural sector to make more opportunity available for the financial advancement of the farmers of Jamaica,” Minister Clarke stated.