JIS News

Against the background of ongoing global food shortages, plans are being made to increase yam production in South Trelawny, Member of Parliament for South Trelawny, Marissa Dalrymple-Phillibert has announced.
Making her contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (June 25), Mrs. Dalrymple-Phillibert said that in addition to significantly addressing the food crisis, increased yam production is expected to rekindle economic activity in the constituency.
She advised that the thrust to increase production will, among other things, entail re-establishment of the yam house, which should serve to revive the marketing of yams for which the area is renowned, but which declined over recent years.
“The core of our agricultural activity is the cultivation of yams. We are known in Jamaica and across the Diaspora for our famous Trelawny yams. Sadly, over the last three to four years, marketing of the produce has declined significantly, as most companies that were involved in export have reduced commercial activities,” she explained.
Mrs. Dalrymple-Phillibert, who is also Deputy Speaker of the House, said this has had a dramatic economic effect on both the farmers, and the wider constituency, lamenting that income levels have diminished for many families.
“There are farmers who are leaving their produce in the ground rather than reaping them at maturity. There are no viable markets. Our farmers are not able to sell at prices to adequately cover their overheads,” she informed.
To this end, Mrs. Dalrymple-Phillibert said discussions were held with Agriculture Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, whom she advised has agreed to re-establish the yam house in the community of Wait-a-bit, and would be visiting the constituency in July.
“I believe that with the current concerns about food shortage, there is a burgeoning opportunity for us (in South Trelawny) to become the hub of significant agricultural activity. (The Minister) has assured me that there are a number of programmes that he will be looking at to promote and enhance agricultural opportunities for the constituency, and our people,” the Member of Parliament stated.
In a related matter, Mrs. Dalrymple-Phillibert informed the House that State Minister for Agriculture, J.C. Hutchinson, has given the undertaking to repair three roads which serve the farming community. These are: Hill Sixty; Bunthump – in the Lorrimar’s division; and Penn Road in Stettin, in the Albert Town division.

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