Agriculture records highest level of output last yearThursday, May 13, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the agriculture sector continued on a positive trajectory, moving from production of 689,080 tonnes in 2019 to 697,679 tonnes in 2020, reflecting growth of 1.2 per cent for the period.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, who gave the update during his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday, said that the level of production was notably the highest on record, surpassing the previous highest level in 1996 when total output was 695,050 tonnes.
He said that vegetable production was 237,948 tonnes, which represented 34 per cent of total domestic crop production.
In relation to the livestock sector, Green said that production in 2020 was affected by the pandemic and adverse weather conditions, which impacted storage and distribution.
“Additionally, loss of significant market share in the hotel sector led to excessive inventories of meats such as pork, fish, chicken and eggs. Many farmers had to cut back their production, some by as much as 50 per cent, due to declining sales,” he pointed out.
However, he said that due to the ministry's interventions, some livestock subsectors saw significant rebound, some by as much as 80 per cent of production towards the end of the year.
“Overall, chicken meat production declined by 7.9 per cent when compared to the previous year, which was, in fact, a record year for the broiler meat industry,” he said.
Green noted that egg production saw a significant increase of 24.9 per cent, rising to the highest level in the nation's history.
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