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Agriculture Ministry to import food supplies to meet Christmas demand

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Agriculture says it will be importing additional food supplies in order to adequately meet demands during the Christmas season after heavy rainfall across the island in recent months resulted in a lack of agricultural production.

According to a release from the ministry today, Minister of Agriculture Karl Samuda identified a list of produce including peppers, potatoes, carrot, tomatoes, ginger, melons and cantaloupes, which are to be imported to satisfy demand in both the tourism industry and for local consumption.

The ministry said it was not about to import large quantities for storage, but enough to satisfy demand. Prices, Samuda said, would be monitored weekly to gauge any increases that may occur.

The agriculture minister was speaking at a media briefing held at his Hope Gardens offices in St Andrew.

He explained that “all necessary steps have been taken to ensure an adequate supply” of these items. In addition, there will be adequate supplies of gungo peas and sorrel.

Meanwhile, Samuda expressed disappointment at the lack of growth in the agriculture sector as a result of the prolonged wet weather.

However, Samuda said that some 32,000 more tonnes of fruits and vegetable had been harvested over last year and that increased production had been achieved in sugar, poultry meat and eggs as well as pork.

While admitting that the year to date growth in the sector was flat, the ministry said Samuda expressed great optimism for the return to growth in the sector next year.

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