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  • Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dervan Spence, has lauded local pig farmers for creating a “self-sufficient pork industry”.
  • Mr. Spence, who was speaking at the 12th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Pig Farmers Association (JPFA), held on Thursday (September 25), at the Golf View hotel in Mandeville, said Jamaica produces nearly 10 million kilograms of pork annually, which is more than enough to satisfy local consumption.
  • The Chief Technical Director, gave the pig farmers the assurance, that the Government has every intention to build on and preserve the gains that have been made.

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dervan Spence, has lauded local pig farmers for creating a “self-sufficient pork industry”.

Mr. Spence, who was speaking at the 12th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Pig Farmers Association (JPFA), held on Thursday (September 25), at the Golf View hotel in Mandeville, said Jamaica produces nearly 10 million kilograms of pork annually, which is more than enough to satisfy local consumption.

He noted that this independence from importing pork and pork products, exemplifies, in several ways, the goal of the Government to achieve food and nutrition security.

“We are seeking to ensure sustainable food security and the aim is to attain self-sufficiency in many areas. We are now looking at that in Irish potato and several other crops coming on stream, and the plan is to target the expansion of the export sector, once we have satisfied the local market,” Mr. Spence said.

He noted that having successfully increased production to sustainable levels, the pork industry can now lead the way in terms of expansion into export markets and diversification of product lines.

The Chief Technical Director, gave the pig farmers the assurance, that the Government has every intention to build on and preserve the gains that have been made.

He said the Ministry is fully aware of the challenges they face, including the marketing and sales of their products, noting that increasing local competition and exports are viable options, which the Ministry supports.

 

“I would also recommend increased linkages with the hotel and hospitality sector as a ready and available market for pork,” he said, adding that there is also the prospect of increasing fresh and value-added products to CARICOM.

Mr. Spence advised the farmers, as they pursue improved marketing strategies, to also “apply the very best practices to ensure highest quality and safety standards for our foods.”

It is for this reason, he said, that the Ministry continues to be vigilant in monitoring the import and export of foodstuff.

He said it is also important that through the Ministry’s Veterinary Services Division, Jamaica’s local animals are protected from new and emerging diseases, as well as the resurgence of old ones, from which the country is now free.

 

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