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Jamaica Domestic Crop Production Decline

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

 

#Jamaica, June 12, 2023 – The foreseeable future for Jamaica’s domestic crop production is looking somewhat dim as it is on track to record a decline for the 1st half of the year.

The prolonged drought which started last year was fingered as the culprit for the anticipated decline as highlighted by Floyd Green, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Mining, who made the announcement during the recent staging of the annual Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show, hosted by the Kingston and Saint Andrew Association of Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agriculture Society at the playfield of the ministry’s Hope Gardens  office.

He said the drought is affecting Jamaica’s farmers despite the effort of the Ministry to quell its impact, further highlighting that “the first quarter of this year will record a decline.”

“In fact, based on the figures that I have already started to peruse, we will see, at minimum, a nine per cent decline in production in the first quarter of 2023, and I do expect that in the second quarter, we will see further declines in relation to agricultural production, largely because of the drought,” he added.

Green pointed to statistics highlighting the seriousness of the drought and emphasizing the magnitude of its impact.

He revealed that last October, at the start of the dry period, the country recorded a 21 percent decline below the annual mean average of rainfall. It persisted for the rest of the year into 2023 with 33 percent less rain in December, 68 percent less in January, and 72 percent less in February.

However, efforts are  being made by Green to mitigate drought effects as he said he has directed Dermon Spence, Permanent Secretary to call an urgent meeting of all of the heads of agencies to have talks about resources into drought mitigation. He expressed that this is in addition to the $200 million already allocated.

These efforts are of great importance amid the arrival of the El Niño Phase. It is important to note that even though the past couple weeks have seen wet weather, the region has not yet escaped the possibility for extensive drought, given the dual nature of the El Niño period which according to Cedric Van Meerbeeck, Climatologist, the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, can either bring suppressed rainfall or a boost in rainfall.

Caribbean News

Barbados recognizes Palestine as sovereign

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

Barbados has made a huge diplomatic move, recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state, as announced by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kerrie Symmonds, according to a report from CBC News Barbados on Saturday April 20. This now aligns Barbados with other UN Member states which also recognise Palestine.

 

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Haiti death toll rises

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

Haiti’s death toll is now up 53 percent with more than 2,500 people killed from January through March 2024, compared to the same time last year. This was reported by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH),  on Friday April 19. The organization expressed that gangs have changed their tactics, now targeting public institutions and important infrastructure such as the main Airport. Most of the violence is reportedly in the Capital Port Au Prince.

 

 

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U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS SHINES AS A PREMIER DESTINATION AT THE 2024 SEATRADE CRUISE GLOBAL CONFERENCE

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St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) –April 11, 2024—The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, led by Commissioner Joseph Boschulte, Assistant Commissioner Alani Henneman, and Deputy Commissioner RoseAnne Farrington, traveled to Miami, Florida, to support Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and other local partners agencies for the 2024 Seatrade Cruise Global Conference.
To kick off the week-long event, the Department of Tourism sponsored the highly anticipated Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) barbecue, which was hosted by Governor Bryan.
Revered as a steady leader in the Caribbean tourism industry, the USVI delegation, which also included the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Port Authority, West Indian Company Limited, Magens Bay Authority, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Government Employee Retirement System, showcased the territory and its growing accessibility around the cruise industry to key operators and businesses.
“Cruise has been and continues to be a leading entryway for visitors into the territory, and Seatrade allows representatives from the USVI to interface with and share pertinent updates needed to continue fostering positive relationships throughout the industry,” explains Commissioner Boschulte.
Commissioner Boschulte was featured on the Caribbean Spotlight panel moderated by renowned industry leader and FCCA CEO Michelle Paige, who referenced the Commissioner being named the 2023 Caribbean Tourism Executive of the Year by Caribbean Journal and shared how exceptional the publication’s acknowledgment of his accolades are. Paige referenced Caribbean Journal’s spotlight paragraph reading, “No Caribbean destination has seen more growth in the last three years than the U.S. Virgin Islands, which kicked off a full-fledged tourism renaissance just after the onset of the pandemic and hasn’t looked back. And so much of that growth can be directly tied to the expert stewardship of Boschulte, who helped craft an innovative, flexible response to the challenges of the pandemic and has continued to drive the USVI’s performance with a data-driven, creative approach to modern tourism.”
Commissioner Boschulte and Deputy Commissioner Farrington joined Governor Bryan for meetings with leading cruise lines, including Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Carnival Corporation & plc, amongst others, to discuss continued partnerships, expansion opportunities, and industry updates.
As the global cruise industry continues to restabilize following challenges incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Thomas and St. Croix experienced a 13% growth in 2023 over 2019, with West Indian Company Dock, Crown Bay Dock, and E. Abramson Marine Facility welcoming more than 1,600,000 passengers from 495 total calls for the year. With a 58% year-over-year passenger increase from 2022 to 2023, the USVI continues to grow and is projected to experience another 5% increase in cruise passenger arrivals in 2024.
Commissioner Boschulte also highlighted the remarkable success of the USVI and Caribbean region, stating, “I am proud to see the Caribbean’s appeal continue to captivate travelers. Our collaborative efforts with partners like FCCA and the Caribbean Tourism Organization underscore the unity of our region, ensuring unforgettable experiences for visitors while highlighting the unique strengths of the U.S. Virgin Islands. With a safe, welcoming destination and a shared commitment to tourism, we embrace our role as an integral part of the Caribbean community.”
For more information about the U.S. Virgin Islands, please visit https://www.visitusvi.com/.

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