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Government Jamaica Calls on Farmers to Grow More Potatoes

Jamaican Government Calls on Farmers to Grow More Potatoes

Jamaican Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw (right), speaking with State Minister, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, at a National Irish Potato Stakeholders Seminar held in Devon, Manchester, on Thursday April 26
(Courtesy: JIS).

May 3, 2018
Jamaican Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, has called on farmers in Manchester to produce more Irish potatoes to satisfy the high demand of local fast-food restaurant operators and franchises.

Speaking at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority’s (RADA) Sensitisation Meeting and National Irish Potato Stakeholders’ Seminar at Devon in Manchester on April 26, Mr. Shaw said Jamaica has the capacity to grow enough Irish potatoes to supply the local market, and eliminate the importation of the product completely.

Audley Shaw:

“We must reach a point where we not only supply fresh potatoes to the Caribbean, but produce enough for processing into French fries and to sell to Kentucky, Burger King and the other restaurants.”

“Our mission must be to satisfy the local demand and get into export; and produce enough Irish potatoes so that we can supply all our Caribbean neighbours…,”
Mr. Shaw said if more Irish potatoes are produced in Jamaica over the next five years, this will result in larger growth of the economy.

Audley Shaw:

“That is how we will add more value, and when we add more value, we’re creating more jobs and we’re making more profits, and that’s how we can start a programme for our small farmers in moving from poverty to prosperity.”
The Minister encouraged the farmers to adhere to the new strategies introduced at the meeting by the presenters, such as H&L Agro, Newport Fersan Limited and the Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL), as these organisations aim to help with each farmer’s improvement and increase their productivity. Audley Shaw:

“Embrace every opportunity to become more productive in your practices in planting and nurturing. If you follow the rules and follow the best practices, you’ll be able to achieve higher levels of productivity and higher levels of output and higher levels of profit.”
The meeting was organised by RADA for farmers from Devon and Halifax in Manchester to discuss best practices for growing Irish potato and to provide an update on Jamaica’s current status regarding the production of Irish potatoes.