Gov’t seeking to revive rice cultivation in Jamaica

Saturday, February 07, 2015

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) – The Ministry of Agriculture will be looking into the viability of reviving rice cultivation in Jamaica.

The disclosure was made by the Minister, that experts currently are conducting evaluations of the previously launched rice production programme to ascertain why it did not work and how to proceed on the matter.

 “There was a concerted effort over the last five years to get…production back in the country. Some experiments were done that did not meet the mark and interest seems to have waned in rice production. This is something that we intend to take a second look at to see what went wrong from that foray and to see whether or not it is a viable option for us here in Jamaica,” he said.

Kellier was addressing a press conference on Thursday, February 5, at the Office of the Prime Minister in Montego Bay.

He noted that the Government’s quest to reintroduce rice production is in keeping with efforts to ensure food security.

In April 2012, late Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Roger Clarke, announced that the Government was formulating plans to put approximately 2,000 acres of land into rice cultivation that year.

The plan, at that time, was to plant rice in Amity Hall and Hill Run, St Catherine; sections of Clarendon; Brumdec, St Elizabeth; and four areas in Westmoreland through funding from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

In 1935, over 2,000 acres of rice was planted, and by 1950, there were at least 5,400 acres under cultivation.

In 2009, Jamaica Broilers Group invested $5 million in a rice farm at Amity Hall, which saw 25 acres being put into cultivation.




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