JIS News

Prime Minister P. J. Patterson has assured the nation that there was no shortage of food supplies and there was adequate food stock for the present and near term.He was speaking at the weekly post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday (September 13).
Mr. Patterson informed that on his instructions, Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell, had met with the private sector on September 13, to look at the situation regarding food supplies in the island and that the report from the importers, wholesalers and major retailers indicated that there were adequate supplies of all basic and essential commodities.
He informed that items were already being shipped to Jamaica and additional supplies would be ordered as needed.
On the damage to agriculture, particularly in the traditional food basket parishes, the Prime Minister said he had instructed the Ministries of Commerce, Science and Technology and Finance and Planning to meet this week, “so that Cabinet can take decisions next week on the rates of duties, which are applicable, especially to those items where we have had to impose high stamp duty rates”.
These discussions will be informed by a meeting of representatives of the farming community and the Jamaica Agricultural Society at the Hope offices of the Ministry of Agriculture today.
“The emphasis has to be on an urgent replanting process, led by the Ministry of Agriculture and its agencies, so that areas which are the traditional food basket parishes can be in business as soon as possible,” Mr. Patterson said.

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