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No shortage of Jamaican produce says Minister

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Image of Hi-Lo Grocery Store, Jamaica

#KINGSTON, April 1 (JIS): The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is assuring that there is no shortage of local agricultural produce to supply the domestic market.

Speaking at a digital press briefing on Tuesday (March 31), Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, said there are adequate supplies of meat, eggs, and fresh food, including vegetables, fruits and tubers.

“Our farmers are on the job. They have not stopped working and [as such] there are plentiful supplies,” he said.

         Mr. Hutchinson informed that egg production is approximately 22 per cent higher over last year, noting that the country is averaging approximately 15 million eggs per month, which is adequate to supply normal demand. 

He said this level of production is expected to be maintained until the end of May.

Additionally, Mr. Hutchinson said consultations with pig industry stakeholders indicate that there are adequate supplies of pork in the marketplace and sufficient animals in the system for slaughter for the next few months, pointing out that “this will be adequate to meet normal demand for this product”.

He further said chicken meat production will average approximately 2.7 million kilogrammes per week for the next nine weeks, up to early May 2020.

“At this time, the industry is not seeing any immediate factors that will cause any significant disruption in its capacity to continue production beyond this point or to prevent the conversion of the chickens now in the field and being hatched in the next three weeks from being processed,” he said.

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The Minister informed that chicken represents approximately 80 per cent of the ratio meat protein supplied to and consumed by local consumers. 

Mr. Hutchinson said efforts will be made to reduce issues of bottlenecks and disruption in distribution if and when these arise.

He added that the Ministry is working with the private sector to rationalise and manage excess production of meats and eggs to ensure continued support to local industries and increased demand and movement of these products.

Mr. Hutchinson advised that the Ministry is working with stakeholders in the various value chains to ensure that food supplies are maintained and inventories are being monitored.

Additionally, he informed that the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) has conducted an assessment of the country’s supply of selected critical agricultural produce and is reporting that, by all indications, vegetables, condiments, fruits, roots and tubers are and will be in normal supply.

JC Hutchinson – Jamaica Minister

“Vegetable production remains in good supply, with the exception of the exotics (broccoli and cauliflower) and coloured bell peppers. Vegetables will remain in good supply for the period March to May. 

              “Fruits available are cantaloupe, melon, papaya, pineapple, banana, plantain, Otaheite apple, star apple and mango. Fruits will be in their usual abundance for the reporting period of March to May,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Hutchinson is urging Jamaicans to utilise local produce and products that are available and may end up being in excess supply.

           “RADA is also encouraging the public to consume these produces to boost the immune system against the COVID-19 virus and to reduce food loss and waste at this time when essential vitamins and nutrients are needed to guard against COVID-19,” he said.

                                                                       JIS News by CHRIS PATTERSON

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Caribbean News

Jamaica agricultural advancements despite bad weather

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Credit:JIS

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Jamaica#Agriculture, April 11, 2024 Despite the bad weather conditions in 2023, especially the drought period, Jamaica was able to achieve its second highest domestic crop production on record with over 700 thousand tonnes of local crops produced. This was announced by state minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Franklin Witter, on Sunday April 7, at the 41st annual National Farmers’ Month church service held in Trelawney.

 

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Caribbean News

Guyana Wildfires

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Wildfires#Guyana, April 11, 2024 – Wildfires have been affecting Guyana, the most recent in the Timehri Community on the north-eastern side since April 4, according to a release from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO).

The report says according to PAHO, as of April 5, 28 people have been displaced in a shelter in the Santa Aratack Village. Additionally, the JRC Global Wildfire Information System, also featured in the release, says the total burnt area is more than 16,500 ha.

This comes nearly a month after a 93 year old man was killed by a wildfire in north West Guyana.

Reports say the entire region is dealing with wildfires including Venezuela, Central America and Mexico with a record number of fires, and a major increase compared to the same period in 2023.

 

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Caribbean News

Efforts to deliver education to Children in Haiti – Schools still closed

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Education, April 9, 2024 – With schools across Haiti still shut down due to intense gang violence, UNICEF is making efforts to deliver education to students, working with the Ministry of Education. They are trying to deliver distance learning through radio, television and e-learning platforms and right now, solutions are being explored through Haiti’s national radio station. Announced in a press release by UN News on April 7, this comes as UN agencies warned that Haitian children are suffering from not just a lack of education but also primary exposure to violence.

 

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