Despite weather and COVID-19 — agricultural outputs rise

Despite weather and COVID-19 — agricultural outputs rise

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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The following is taken from the July to September Economic Review presentation made by Dr Wayne Henry, director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

Real value added for the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was estimated to have recorded an increase of 2.0 per cent.

This improvement reflected the impact of favourable weather conditions. Also contributing to the industry's out-turn were initiatives implemented by the Government of Jamaica to improve output in the industry, including the:

Productivity Incentive Programme which provided fertiliser and seedlings to farmers; and the

Agriculture Excess Buy-Back Programme which provided an outlet for farmers' produce in light of the oversupply as a result of reduced demand caused by COVID-19.

Performance was driven by higher output in the heaviest weighted other agricultural crops component, as all other components recorded declines. Specifically, other agricultural crops was estimated to have grown by 8.4 per cent reflecting higher production in eight of the nine crop groups. The most significant increases were recorded for fruits, up 28.3 per cent; condiments, up 22.3 per cent; other tubers, up 21.3 per cent; cereals, up 17.2 per cent and vegetables, up 15.3 per cent.

Lower output was recorded for traditional export crops, which declined by 0.2 per cent. This largely reflected the absence of sugar cane production, as well as a 41.4 per cent downturn in cocoa production as banana production grew by 1.7 per cent.

Animal farming is estimated to have decreased due to lower broiler meat production. Egg production, however, grew by 24.6 per cent to 53.4 million eggs.

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