Shaw announces $100m in fertiliser support for farmersWednesday, September 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica —The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will be providing some $100 million of support to farmers to offset the price of fertilisers.
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw, said the support is being provided against the background of the rising cost of fertiliser, which he said has been negatively impacting the cost of production for farmers.
“As such, support will be provided in the amount of J$100 million for fertilisers to allow for a 15 per cent reduction in the price for four select products that are most widely used by the farmers,” said Shaw.
He was speaking Wednesday in the House of Representatives where he updated the country on the impact of tropical storms Grace and Ida on the agriculture sector. Crop and livestock damage/loss was in the region of $1.7 billion with extension officers assigned to the Rural Agricultural Development Authority still carrying out assessments.
Shaw explained that the price reduction for fertiliser will be applied at the point-of-purchase to registered farmers islandwide for a period effective October 1, to December 31 or until the $100 million is exhausted.
“The Ministry will be working with Newport Fersan (Jamaica) Limited, the sole manufacturer of fertiliser in Jamaica, and other importers of fertiliser to provide this support,” Shaw said.
He revealed that, concerned about the impact that the recent rise in fertiliser costs is having on the agriculture sector, the Ministry has held a series of meetings with Newport Fersan to explore immediate solutions.
“Arising from those discussions, the company will bring three new fertiliser blends to the market, utilising less expensive but equally effective ingredients,” Shaw shared.
He said discussions are also being extended by the Ministry, through its Research and Development Division, to the United Nation's agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, for technical assistance in exploring cost-effective local-based feed ingredients.