Business

Hi-Pro expands agronomy portfolio with PanDia seeds

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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Hi-Pro stores islandwide will soon be providing farmers with a way to combat scarcity among some locally grown foods through the introduction of its PanDia seeds.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer, Tricia Jackson, store operations manager at Hi-Pro Ace in White Marl St Catherine, explained that the seeds will complement the company's agronomy portfolio.

“We have a portfolio of agronomy products which include fertilisers, chemicals and equipment and it's a complementary product so it completes the organic agronomy portfolio that we currently have,” she said.

“So what we're going to start is open pollinated seeds; we're going to do research on new varieties [to go along with the seeds that we already have] that are more disease-resistant and aids in productivity of our farmers,” she continued.

The official marketing of the seeds began on Monday, January 21.

Jackson said that the products created following the research will be launched at this year's staging of the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial show in Clarendon.

Having been promoted from the pharmaceutical department to her new role, she highlighted her hands-on experience with the company's farmers.

“I've spent time in the fields planting peanut in St Elizabeth so that I could better understand what it is like out there. It's so much more than getting your hands dirty; we actually get the opportunity to know our farmers by working alongside them and we're able to develop better methods to make our farmers productive. More productivity for our farmers means that Hi-Pro too will be more productive,” she said.

Some of the seeds that will be made available soon include carrot, sweet pepper, corn, cucumber and okra.

Senior agronomist Orville Roache also explained that the seed industry, valued at US$1.8 million must be invested in because of the vast potential it has to heighten national development and productivity among farmers.

He also said that the PanDia seeds will allow more farmers to become a part of different markets such as tourism.

“The productivity of these products are above normal and also programmes like the tourism linkage hub, we want to be a part of that – we want to get our farmers to be a part of that so it's about entering into new markets to boost productivity,” he said.

Since the late 1950s, Hi-Pro has been partnering with farmers to achieve

high-quality practices in caring for livestock and crops.


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