KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator AJ Nicholson will be making a full statement on the discussion and decisions arrived at following a meeting with Trinidad and Tobago's Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran this week.
Nicholson made the disclosure while responding to ques ...more »
AMITY HALL, St James — The importation of bananas for local consumption will not be necessary to offset an expected shortfal in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, says Ian Hayles.
Sandy has wiped out most of the crop in the banana producing parishes of eastern Jamaica, particularly Portland, St Mary and St Thomas. But Hayles, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, noted that the western parish of St James, which saw minimal damage from the passage of the category one hurricane, will be called upon to provide bananas to bridge the gap from the expected shortage in the east.
" There is an argument that is been banded about that we might have to import bananas. I am here to say we will not have to import banana here in Jamaica. We will have enough bananas for the consumers of this country and there is no need for any panic in terms of Jamaicans finding bananas to consume," Hayles said.
He added: "St James plays an integral role in terms of the production of banana. One would know that it is Portland which produces the majority bananas, then St Mary, then St James. I am here today to conduct an assessment to see in terms of creating synergies how St James can fill up the slot in terms of any shortfall we might have," Hayles said, adding that last year St James produced nearly 55,000 tonnes of banana.
He was speaking to the media on Thursday during a tour of some southern St James communities renown for banana production.
Hayles used the opportunity to appeal to the banana farmers to avoid price gouging.
"I am appealing to the vendors, the farmers, to the middle man — ensure that whatever price point that one goes to the market with, the consumer can leave that marketplace," he urged.
State Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Ian Hayles (centre)
and members of the St James RADA team in dialogue with a farmer in Amity
Hall, St James ON Thursday. (Photo: Philip Lemonte)
POST A COMMENT
1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.
2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.