St Elizabeth still the bread basket parish

Produces 22 per cent of nation's food

Wednesday, June 18, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!

St Elizabeth continues to maintain its reputation as the bread basket parish of Jamaica and currently produces 22 per cent of the national domestic food needs, through fruits and vegetables, poultry, beef and tubers.

Deputy Parish Manager of the St Elizabeth branch of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Marvin Lawrence said production by the farmers in even more significant, based on the fact that they are affected annually by occurrences, such as drought, floods and bush fires.

He noted that over the past two years, the farmers have taken significant steps to mitigate the effects of drought, flooding and bush fires.

However, Lawrence said the cost of overseas agricultural inputs has become a major issue for the farmers.

"While crop production has remained stable, the foreign exchange situation has been affecting the farmers. A lot of the inputs has to be imported and the rate of foreign exchange has been unstable, resulting in some farmers scaling down on their production. Despite that however, the parish has been able, through the hard work of the farmers, to contribute 22 per cent of the national domestic food requirements," he said.

Lawrence said while the parish's farming strength remains in the production of fresh fruits and vegetables, it has been gradually making a name for itself in areas such as yam, sweet potato, cassava and dasheen production.

"St Elizabeth has also made significant strides in the areas of beef, poultry, egg and even goat meat production. We have hundreds of farmers involved in these areas ranging from small to large farmers," he noted.

Meanwhile, Lawrence said he is optimistic that the on-going issue of praedial larceny, which has been affecting the livestock sector, will be addressed in a decisive way.

"We have been doing very well in the area of livestock farming. However, the issue of praedial larceny is a major deterrent to the farmers. I am of the view that once this scourge is addressed in a decisive way, more farmers will come on board and those who are already involved will make additional investments. The Government has put measures in place to address the matter and I am confident that soon, farmers will be given peace of mind while they invest in the sector," he said.





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.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Do you support the Government's proposed spending of $200 million for Jamaica 55 celebrations?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon