Agriculture ministry develops national yam strategy

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Agriculture ministry develops national yam strategy

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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THE Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has established a National Yam Oversight Committee, which will be responsible for charting the future of yam production islandwide through the development of a national yam strategy.

The yam strategy is being developed in consultation with stakeholders to include farmers and exporters and organisations like Jampro and is aimed at driving up the production of yam as well as examining ways of increasing earnings from exports through value addition.

The disclosure was made by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green at a meeting with farmers at Albert Town High School in Trelawny, last Friday.

Noting that yam is a critical domestic crop, Minister Green said that over the last five years it has become number one in exports with earnings of US$24 million in 2019. He, however, stated that there was a need to ensure consistency in supply as currently demand was outstripping supply.

“We have exporters who are saying to us that they could export 10 containers per week and now we do four to six, so there is a tremendous opportunity in relation to yam,” said Minister Green.

Other strategies being pursued by the ministry to increase yam production are the revitalisation of sweet yam production, research on the best types of yam to be targeted for increased production, as well as the use of technology in relation to minisett.

Currently, under the ministry's production incentive programme, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority is also working with farmers to increase the production of sweet yam, which is in high demand.

“Over the last two years, we have had good success and we are seeing consistent increases in the production of sweet yam,” Green stated.

— JIS


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