JIS News

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) is reporting that it does not foresee an extensive shortage of vegetables and pulses, in light of the recent rains, which has caused problems in the agricultural sector.
As a result, the JAS is urging supermarket chains not to rush to import agricultural produce.
Speaking with JIS News, President of the JAS, Senator Norman Grant said he was recommending that priority be placed on supporting the quick recovery of farmers as well as the replanting process.
“After Ivan, we rushed to import and consumers did not benefit from the prices of those products, even after the government had rolled back duty on imported produce,” explained Senator Grant.
The general message is that any benefit of scarcity, should be transferred to the farmers. Tax should still be levied on current imported produce.
“Support our farmers,” Senator Grant urged adding, “believe in the local produce. We rebounded after Ivan in a very short three to four weeks.there was produce in abundance”. This, he noted was as a result of the significant support given to farmers at the time.
The message at this time, therefore, is to eat Jamaican, he stressed, adding that the protection of Jamaica was everybody’s business.
Turning to the hotel industry, Senator Grant said, there would be sufficient quantities of produce. He continued, “If there is any need to import products, there should be no special waivers, as the government will only be giving away revenue.”
Senator Grant pointed out that a pitfall to watch out for was a glut caused by imported produce flooding the market while local agriculture is bouncing back.