KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, is urging farmers to place greater focus on improving soil nutrition as part of measures to increase agriculture production for local consumption and meet export needs.
Charles Jr said that the Ministry is guiding research for the development and utilisation of new blends of fertilisers that are more cost-effective and will enhance crop yield.
“Ultimately, for Jamaica, we want to achieve food security, which means that we have to increase food production, reduce what we are wasting, and look at the methods and the mechanisms to help farmers do what they do best and to do it in a better way,” he noted.
The Minister was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Diamond-R/Purkote Controlled Release Fertiliser (CRF) by Hi-Pro at the AC Marriot Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, October 26.
The CRF technology makes it possible to match the supply of nutrients with the nutritional needs of plants throughout the growing season.
It is designed to feed plants continuously, with maximum nutritional efficiency while reducing nutrient losses, ensuring uniform growth, optimal yield and superior quality, while protecting the environment.
The release of nutrients perfectly matches the nutritional needs of plants and reduces the number of fertiliser applications and therefore the application costs.
Minister Charles said the new product is “directly aligned” to the Ministry’s ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ campaign, which is aimed at expanding the agriculture sector’s growth and sustainability.
He praised farmers and suppliers of agricultural items for ensuring that the sector remains robust.
Charles said he is convinced that Jamaica will be able to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and supply the Caribbean region.
The Minister also pointed to the need for increased focus on valued-added production to ensure that “nothing is wasted”.
In lauding Hi-Pro, the Minister said the entity has distinguished itself as a company that has always strived for excellence in the quality of products that it provides for its customers.
He said that the fertiliser launch is just another example of the company’s commitment to ensuring that farmers are exposed to the best products available to improve their production and profitability.