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Food Imports


Out Performing
Local Production
J Agro Processing
By Patrick Maitland Just over US$21.69 million
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries
Editor-The Agriculturalist was used to import 31,965,275 kg

Industry to be
of the popular chicken neck and
amaicas traditional export crops are facing major backs. Chicken leg quarters and
threats as imported food products continue to out other poultry meat are often im-

perform local production, accounting for up to 40% of ported, however, with very high im-
port taxes imposed by government,
the islands $840.9 million food imports in 2015. the local farmers are well protected

Jamaica is now
The island is now a net im- from cheaper imports.
porter of several raw and manufac- Despite the 2015 STATINS

a net importer
tured products including rice, sugar, data showing the importation of
coffee, cocoa, citrus, banana, pi- 14,781 kg of cuts of swine prepared
mento and ginger, as well as fish, of several raw and or preserved nesoi, which is valued
Story on page 4
the manufactured
milk, meat and other livestock prod- at US$4,206,690, pig farmers
ucts, according to the Statistical In- claimed they are facing problem
stitute of Jamaica.
products including selling their pork and blame im-

sugar, coffee, cocoa,

With a declining stock of 6,500 ports.
heads of cattle, the island struggled Refined sugar, icing sugar,

citrus, pimento and

to produce 12 million litres of milk sugar Nesoi, edible cane molasses
and other related products top the
ginger, fish, milk,
in 2015, however imported
skimmed milk powder, evaporated list with almost 67,562,387 kg val-

meat and other

milk, whole milk, condensed milk ued at US$34 million that were im-
and other dairy products totaled al- ported in 2015. However, the island
most 17 million kg at a value of
over US$50 million to satisfy the
livestock products earned over US$78 million from
53,810,000 kg of sugar exported
______________________ during the period.
local demand.
Jamaica produced a meager A shocking 14,943,198 kg of Jamaican spice, including
906,000 kg of goat and sheep meat fish and other marine foods includ- turmeric, pimento and ginger, are in
in 2015, but imported a frightening ing snapper, croaker, grouper, dol- high demand because of their high
2,426,617 kg of the meats in vari- phin fish (mahimahi, dorado) and potency and taste, nevertheless,
ous form of preparation, which cost Banga Mary, fresh or chilled, val- local production continues to lag be-
US$11,000,940. Jamaica has the ued at US$57,408,760 were im- hind thus providing the opportunity
ideal condition and good breeding ported, while local Aquaculture for imports. During the year under
stock to successfully rear goat and review, some US$75.1 m, US$18.3
(Tilapia, Shrimp) and Marine (Fish,
sheep, however, the hard work of m, and US$31.3 m, were used to im-
Conch, Lobster, Shrimp) producers
small ruminant farmers are always port turmeric, pimento and ginger,
struggled to produce 13,610,000 kg
affected by farm thieves. respectively. Continued on page 4
during 2015.


Algae 100%


Always exercise caution
and wear proper safety
gear when handling,

preparing and using
insecticides; keep out of
reach of children. Refer to
Product Instructions for
correct usage.

Wettable Powder Insecticide;

novel mode of action that clings to waxy
exoskeleton of insects, dehydrating them.
Active Ingredient: Silicon Dioxide
Controls insects such as White flies, Aphids, Thrips, Caterpillars,
Mites and Ants in crops such as Leaf Vegetables, Cabbage,
Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Eggplants, Carrots,
Potatoes, Melon, Cucumber, Ornamentals, Banana, Plantain, Sugar
Cane, Pasture, Mangoes, Fruit Trees, Papaya, Pineapple, Citrus,
Coffee and Cocoa. Controls insects such as Weevils, and Grain Moth
Available at Hi-Pro Farm Supplies in stored grains. Also controls Red Poultry Mite, Darkling Beetles,
and leading farm stores islandwide. Ants, Spiders, Scorpions, Centipedes, Cockroaches, Beetles, Weevils
Telephone: 984-7918/619-1302 and other crawling insects in animal husbandry.
Jamaica must focus on feeding

todays generation and the next

A few years ago, the world was fac-
ing volatile food prices and price
spikes on various commodities such as
In the case of Jamaica, we are
not sure of our total food
needs and what percent are
amounts of items, including fresh
and processed foods, that with
a little effort or resources we
At the time, Jamaica and other
countries were also flooded with sub-
sidized grain and milk from the U.S.
rice, flour, sugar, milk and fruits and being produced locally. could save millions in for- that were sold at prices far under the
vegetables. We were all fretting and However, if the island is eign exchange. cost of production.
everybody was beginning to see the spending an average annual For example, we However, we are learning from our
wisdom of agriculture and the need to US$914 million to import could produce more of our past and must now focus on feeding
feed ourselves. basic food items, we are goat meat and manufacture todays and the next generation. Ja-
According to the World Food Or- heading towards starvation -- more Jamaican home-grown maica cannot achieve sustainable
ganization (WFO), the world needs to if and when the supply is cut. spices such as turmeric, pi- growth or prosperity without a solid
produce at least 50 percent more food We often attribute reasons mento and ginger. agricultural enterprise programme.
to feed 9 billion people by 2050. But for a shortage of food to not Nevertheless, as part of the global The priority must be set on food
climate change could cut crop yields enough food being produced economy, Jamaican agriculture needs and how much of that food can
by more than 25 percent. and crop failure because of also suffered under the so-called be economically grown locally. In the
The land, biodiversity, oceans, drought, pests, or too much Structural Adjustment Programs next step, we must identify who will be
forests, and other forms of natural cap- moisture. But the problem can (SAPs) of the 1980s-90s imposed by producing the food and resources
ital are being depleted at unprece- result from the uneven distribu- the World Bank and the International needed to get the job done.
dented rates. tion of the islands resource en- Monetary Fund, which saw the dis- But, the allocation of resources --
The WFO warns that unless we dowment and simple bad mantling commodity boards, elimi- land, capital and people -- is always the
change how we grow our food and government policy. nating price guarantees, closing and most important task if we are serious
manage our natural capital, food secu- As we analyze the food import breaking down tariffs, and deregulat- about feeding the people.
rity -- especially for the worlds poor- data supplied by the Statistical Institute ing agricultural markets.
Patrick Maitland
est -- will be at risk. of Jamaica, we are astonished by the

Dont treat soil like dirt!

The opinions expressed in this newspaper, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Agriculturalist and its publishers. Please send your com-
ments or suggestions to editor@theagriculturalist.com. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all articles will be published.

T he issues of climate change, land

degradation, and sustainable agricul-
ture are among the most important chal-
SOM plays a crucial role in the global
carbon balance by modulating biogeo-
chemical processes and the exchange of
Soil organic carbon (SOC), which
makes up approximately 60% of the global
SOM pool, has; therefore, been included in
lenges of the 21st century. For instance, it greenhouse gases (GHGs) with the atmos- the monitoring of SDG 15.3.1.
is estimated that approximately 75 billion phere. As a result, soil carbon sequestration It follows that, if we are to take maxi-
tonnes of crop soils are lost worldwide to is important in restricting global warming mum advantage of the agro-ecological
erosion by wind and water and through to below 2C. functions of soils (i.e. climate change adap-
agricultural activities; all this at an esti- Currently, the global soil carbon pool tation and mitigation and various ecosys-
mated cost of US$400 billion per year. is estimated to be between 3,500 and 4,800 tem services), they must be managed using
Land degradation is of special impor- Pg (1Pg [petagram] = 1015g), making it a suite of sustainable soil management
tance as soils have long been recognized as several times larger than the biotic pool and techniques.
a limited natural resource and are neces- atmospheric pool combined. However, it
sary to support life on earth. remains unclear how this vast pool of car-
By declaring 2015 as the International bon will respond to future climate change.
Year of Soils, the United Nations General In addition to its role as a buffer
Assembly, has declared its recognition of against climate change, one of the most
the critical role of soil in supporting human fundamental functions of SOM is the pro-
and environmental health. Despite these Adrian Spence, PhD. vision of metabolic energy, which acts as a Publisher & Editor:
roles and potential there is little legislative International Centre for driver for soil biological processes. SOM Patrick Maitland
framework in place at the global scale Environmental and Nuclear Sciences is also essential for maintaining a number
aimed at protecting the ground beneath our adrian.spence02@uwimona.edu.jm of physical (structure, porosity, colour and Consulting Editors:
feet. water holding capacity), chemical (cation Vincent Wright, Jairzenho Bailey
Soils represent a complex mixture of exchange capacity, pH), and biological
Notwithstanding that, 193 countries of Produced & Published by:
organic and inorganic as well as living and (nutrient source) functions.
the United Nations General Assembly re-
non-living components interacting to form It is also essential in soil aggregate for- Agri Life Foundation Ltd
cently reached an agreement, that in order
biogeochemical interfaces. In soils, organic mation and the sequestration of both or- AMC Complex,
to achieve sustainable development by the
matter is referred to as soil organic matter ganic and inorganic contaminants (e.g. 188 Spanish Town Road,
year 2030, 17 sustainable development
(SOM) spans a continuum from fresh to heavy metals). It therefore means that,
Kingston 11, Jamaica, W.I.
goals (SDGs) with 169 associated targets Tel: (876) 923-7471 923-7428
progressively degraded mineral-associated even small changes in the quality and/or
which are integrated and indivisible should agriculturalist@gmail.com
plant- and microbial-derived compounds, quantity of SOM could significantly affect
be adopted. Of the 17 goals, four contains editor@theagriculturalist.com
and represents a major portion of the total the capacity of soils to perform these criti-
targets that are specifically related to soils. www.theagriculturalist.com
carbon in the terrestrial environment. cal functions.

Obituaries Agro Processing Industry to be Expanded

By Rochelle Williams In his address to members of the been identified for increased production, in
JIS Diplomatic Corps on February 8 at The Ja- an effort to further develop the agro pro-
inister of Industry, Commerce, Agri- maica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Mr. cessing industry.
culture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, Samuda spoke of the merits of the industry, We are expanding the production of
says the Government is focusing on ex- which converts raw materials from primary peppers, sweet potato and onions and we
panding the local agro processing industry, to secondary products for maximum profit. are also doing our best to get a healthy crop
as part of its job creation strategy. Samuda noted that while there has of sugar cane. Everything we do, we think
Samuda noted that while there has been a modest level of development in the of applying to the value added aspect, the
been a modest level of development in the sector, additional resources are needed for Minister said.
sector, additional resources are needed for expansion and growth of the local agro in- Development of the agro industry is
expansion and growth of the local agro in- dustry, which offers tremendous opportu- being done under the World Bank-funded
dustry, which offers tremendous opportu- nity for job creation and entrepreneurial Rural Economic Development Initiative

Banana Board Looking to Boost Exports

nity for job creation and entrepreneurial activity. (REDI), which is being implemented by the
activity. He listed several crops which have Jamaica Social Investment Fund. .

Carlton Edison Conie said the fruit, which is supplied ried out by the Board through the Banana Ex-

C-Lew Lewis
through Board-certified farmers/exporters, is port Expansion Programme (BEEP), which is
shipped mainly to the Cayman Islands, supported under JBAM.
etired agriculturalist Carlton Edison Canada, and occasionally to the United King- She explained that the programme pro-
"C-Lew" Lewis, 63 died January dom, pointing out that these are good niche vides farmers with a number of benefits tai-
30, 2017 at the St. Ann's Bay Public Hos- markets (where) we are getting good prices. lored to enhance their operations and position
pital where he was taken for emergency Conie noted, however, that Jamaicas them for certification, thereby enabling them
treatment, after suffering a massive heart ability to capitalise on and fulfil the growing to export. These include infrastructure, such
attack at home. overseas demand for banana is contingent, to as designated storage facilities for pesticides,
Lewis gave many years of unstint- a great extent, on local suppliers and produc- insecticides, fertiliser and other inputs. Farm-
ing and dedicated service to the Ministry ers attaining GLOBAL Good Agricultural ers are also required to erect packing areas
of Agriculture, in its several iterations, Practices (GAP) certification. and install irrigation networks, among other
and the Bauxite - Alumnia sector. He was Global GAP is the worldwide organisa- things.
the land aquisition officer for then Kaiser tion that assures the implementation of safe, This is being complemented by the in-
Bauxite Company and the NORANDA sustainable agricultural practices worldwide. troduction of tissue cultures for new and ex-
Jamaica Bauxite Company where he It does so by setting voluntary standards isting varieties of bananas aimed at boosting
served as Mining Superintendent prior to JANET CONIE for the certification of products while creating production. Conie said implementation of
General Manager, Banana Board incentives for producers to adopt safe and BEEP is expected to be completed this year,

his retirement.
Lewis is survived by his wife- sustainable practices. as only 50 per cent of the project is under

Food Imports Out Performing

Claudette; son-Andre; 4 sisters; 4 broth- By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Conie said this engagement is being car- way.
ers; 4 stepchildren; nieces, nephews and he Banana Board is targeting further in-
other relatives and friends. crease in exports by year-end, says the

Local Production
entitys General Manager, Janet Conie.

Ronald Ron Duncan
Conie noted that exports have been in-
creasing steadily since being resumed in 2011
after a three-year break consequent to the sec- Continued from page 1 percent imports, as mango, passion fruit, or-
griculturalist Ronald Ron Duncan
tors devastation by Hurricane Gustav in Some 5,592,827 kg of cocoa products, in- ange juice, sour sop and apple are being
died on February 17, 2017, after los-
2008. cluding cocoa paste wholly or partly defat- shipped as processed frozen juice concen-
ing a valiant battle with Cancer.
Exports further increased to 211 tonnes ted, cocoa powder and other preparations in trated thus avoiding import duties and phy-
A graduate of the former Jamaica
in 2014; 312 tonnes in 2015; and 410 tonnes blocks slabs or bars valued at tosanitary regulations.
School of Agriculture (JAS) Ron gave
of the fruit were shipped in 2016. US$22,880,924, were imported. With the As it relates to frozen orange juice con-
many years of unstinting and dedicated
The Banana Board is targeting further local production in 2015 estimated at 637,000 centrated, Trinidad and Tobago joins Belize,
service to the Ministry of Agriculture, at
increase in exports by year-end, says the en- kg and earnings of US$403,000, Jamaicas Costa Rica and the USA in supplying
the Grove Place agricultural station.
titys General Manager, Janet Conie. cocoa will continue to lag behind, as there are 2,109,795 kg valued at US$6,295,537 in
He then moved on to make sterling con-
She said the prospects are positive, as Ja- no immediate solutions to the Frosty Pod Rot 2015. For Tamarind juice, 2.1 m kg costing
tributions the publishing, life insurance
maica has received queries from several disease and other challenges facing farmers. US$5.8 million, were also imported.
and landscaping industries. countries, particularly in Europe, regarding An estimated volume of 626,108 kg of Rice is very popular in the Jamaican

----------------------------- potential export arrangements. coffee beans to be used for blending, instant, diet, in spite of this, up to 97 percent of the
Jennifer Samuda She was speaking with JIS News fol-
lowing a tour of farms and facilities in Port-
other process coffee as well as extracts
essences and concentrates of coffee were im-
commodity or 92.56 million kg, is being im-
ported at a cost of US$48.13 million. Some
he CASE Alumni Association ex- land and St. Mary on February 22 that are ported in 2015, at a cost of US$3,324,311. three decades ago, the island supplied up to
presses sincere and heartfelt condo- benefiting under the European Union (EU) Meanwhile, Jamaica produced and exported 10 percent of it rice needs. Nonetheless, only
lences to Ole Farmer Lloyd Samuda Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures 567,000 kg of coffee albeit a higher earnings sporadic efforts are being considered to en-
(Class of 1976) on the recent passing of (JBAM) programme. of US$25,628,400 million. Data shows that courage local production of rice.
Jennifer, his dear wife and lifelong partner Conie noted that exports have been in- in 2015 import volumes of coffee beans ex- In 2015, a total of 318,848 kg of the ba-
of over 40 years, who made the transition creasing steadily since being resumed in 2011 ceed export volumes of 59,108 kg and the nana fruit valued at US$291,839 was ex-
to be with her maker on the night of Tues- after a three-year break consequent to the sec- gaps is estimated to widen significantly in ported, compared with 1,687,905 kg of
day February 21, 2017, in Florida, USA tors devastation by Hurricane Gustav in 2016 and 2017. imported banana products including banana
where she was undergoing treatment for a 2008. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica also chips, valued at US $8.9 million.
medical condition. She said following slow starts in 2011 revealed that the importation of fruits and However, during the period, Jamaicas
Jennifer Samuda spent about 10 years in and 2012, activities picked up in 2013 when vegetables are very popular in the markets. total banana production was 54,576,200 kg.
commercial banking after which she 78 tonnes of the fruit were exported. Melon, cantaloupe, cucumber, cabbage, let- Since August 2008, banana exports from Ja-
founded Jencare Skin Farm and Spa Exports further increased to 211 tonnes tuce, red peas, irish potato and carrot con- maica declined significantly following the
which is currently located at 82 Hope in 2014; 312 tonnes in 2015; and 410 tonnes tinue to top the list of imported fruits and closure of Eastern Banana Estate.
Road, Kingston 6, and has spent the past of the fruit were shipped in 2016. vegetables. In the case of Onions fresh and Since 2010, Jamaicas annual average
thirty three years as one of the leaders in The sector currently has approximately chilled, 7,774,539 kg was imported from the agricultural/food export stood at US$218
Jamaica's Aesthetics and skin care indus- 3,500 acres of land being cultivated by some Netherlands. million, while food import spiraled to
try. She will be sadley missed. 2,000 farmers. The natural juice market is almost 90 US$914 million.
Coffee Board fires lawyer, demotes CEO

T he Coffee Industry Board (CIB) re-

cently fired its legal officer and com-
pany secretary, Maria Gayle and demoted
"From what I understand, we did not
have adequate insurance for the installa-
tion there that we have ... and that's the
CEO Steve Robinson for failing to pro- responsibility of the administrative staff,
vide adequate insurance coverage and and so in a situation like that, there are
lied about the nature and extent of the in- consequences. We recognise that mis-
surance coverage on the coffee stored at takes do occur, but when mistakes cause
its warehouse on Marcus Garvey Drive in the level of damage that threatens the sta-
Kingston, which was damaged by flood- bility of the organisation, there are con-
waters on September 9, 2016. sequences, and so as a result of that
This came to light when the board principle, the action was deemed appro-
made a claim on General Accident Insur- priate by the board," Minister of Industry,
ance Company Jamaica Limited for an Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries
estimated US$3 million worth of coffee Karl Samuda said.
Gusland McCook, manager of the MARIA GAYLE STEVE ROBINSON
damaged by the floodwaters. General Ac-
Advisory Services, CIB has been ap- Former legal officer and Former CEO, reverted
cident refused to pay on the grounds that
company secretary, CIB chief accountant
the claims were inconsistent with the pointed acting director general, replacing
value and terms of the insurance cover- Robinson, who reverted to his substantive after the board of directors fired Gayle. company secretary in the interim.
age. post of chief accountant last Friday, a day Pamela Hutchinson-Johnson will serve as

Jamaica Producers
profit jumps
Coffee Talk:
to $4.3 billion
Coffee Industry Board (CIB) chairman
Sylburn Thomas (3rd l) and director Clin-

ton Smith (4th l) pose with (l-r) Ricardo
Courtesy of Avia Collinder Allicook, Jamaican ambassador to
www.jamaicaobserver.com Japan and Yutaka Nishibayashi, CEO of
amaica Producers Group Ltd (JP) earned Wataru & Co., Limited during an official
net profits of $4.3 billion for the year visit to Japan (January 21-28) on the in-
ended December 31, 2016, compared to
vitation of the Association of Japanese
$614.57 million the year before.
Importers of Jamaican Coffee (AJIJC) to
The earnings were made on record
get a better understanding of factors af-
revenues of $12.1 billion up from $8.7 bil-
fecting the demand side of Jamaican
Blue Mountain Coffee with a view to im-
lion- an increase of 39 per cent year over pact the supply side in a manner that will
year, with a significant contributor being create stability and advance the interest
the recognition of Kingston Wharves Lim- of the coffee industry.
ited (KWL) as a subsidiary.
Group chairman Charles Johnston said
the group is also reaping the rewards of a
series of initiatives including investment in
the business of logistics, and deployment
of an acquisition strategy to build a diver-
sified international specialty food and drink
JP Food & Drink Division com-
prising companies engaged in farming,
food processing, distribution and retail of
food and drink with production facilities in
Europe and the Caribbean earned year-
to-date revenues of $8 billion, up 10 per
cent over the prior year.
Johnston noted that JP Tropical Foods,
a snack and fresh produce business, was
adversely affected by poor farm yields dur-
ing 2016 as a result of a significant increase
in rainfall and other challenging weather
conditions in St Mary.
He said banana production and sales
are recovering, but typically take a nine-
month cycle to return to their peak. Other-
wise, the division continues to experience
revenue growth in its pineapple business
and export growth in snacks.
JPs Corporate Services segment a
group financing, investment and corporate
management operation earned a profit
before interest and taxation of $3.4 billion
in 2016.
This result includes the gain from di- HI-PRO CHAMPION FARMER:
vestment of Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Carlton Smith holds the cham-
during the third quarter and the gain on pion beef farmers trophy
recognition of KWL as a subsidiary during which he won at the annual
the second quarter. Hague Agricultural Show 2017
The group plans to relocate all head held last Wednesday in
office activities from Oxford Road to its Trelawney and was sponsored
food production complex in Cross Roads by Hi-Pro Farm Supplies.
and to Newport West.
Bee decline threatens US crop production

CALIFORNIA: At AAAS, Ricketts briefed scholars, TROUBLE ZONES amount of land tilled to grow corn spiked by
new study of wild bees identifies 139 policy makers, and journalists on how the na- The map identifies 139 counties in key 200 percent in five years -- replacing grass-
counties in key agricultural regions of tional bee map, first published in the Pro- agricultural regions of California, the Pacific lands and pastures that once supported bee
California, the Pacific Northwest, the Mid- ceedings of the National Academy of Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great populations.
west, west Texas and the Mississippi River Sciences in late 2015, can help to protect Plains, west Texas, and Mississippi River
valley that face a worrisome mismatch be- wild bees and pinpoint habitat restoration ef- valley, which appear to have most worrisome RISING DEMAND, FALLING SUPPLY
tween falling wild bee supply and rising crop forts. mismatch between falling wild bee supply Over the last decade, honeybee keepers
pollination demand. and rising crop pollination demand. facing colony losses have struggled with ris-
The first-ever study to map U.S. wild These counties tend to be places that ing demand for commercial pollination serv-
bees suggests they are disappearing in the grow specialty crops -- like almonds, blue- ices, pushing up the cost of managed
country's most important farmlands -- from berries and apples -- that are highly depend- pollinators -- and the importance of wild
California's Central Valley to the Midwest's ent on pollinators. Or they are counties that bees.
corn belt and the Mississippi River valley. grow less dependent crops -- like soybeans, "Most people can think of one or two
If wild bee declines continue, it could canola and cotton -- in very large quantities. types of bee, but there are 4,000 species in
hurt U.S. crop production and farmers' costs, Of particular concern, some crops most the U.S. alone," said Insu Koh, a UVM post-
said Taylor Ricketts, a conservation ecologist dependent on pollinators -- including pump- doctoral researcher who co-hosted the AAAS
at the University of Vermont, at the Ameri- kins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, ap- panel and led the study.
can Association for the Advancement of Sci- ples and blueberries -- appeared to have the "When sufficient habitat exists, wild
ence (AAAS) annual meeting panel, Plan At the event, Ricketts also introduced a strongest pollination mismatch, growing in bees are already contributing the majority of
Bee: Pollinators, Food Production and U.S. new mobile app that he is co-developing to areas with dropping wild bee supply and in- pollination for some crops," Koh adds. "And
Policy on Feb. 19. help farmers upgrade their farms to better creasing in pollination demand. even around managed pollinators, wild bees
"This study provides the first national support wild bees. Globally, more than two-thirds of the complement pollination in ways that can in-
picture of wild bees and their impacts on pol- "Wild bees are a precious natural re- most important crops either benefit from or crease crop yields."
lination," said Ricketts, Director of UVM's source we should celebrate and protect," said require pollinators, including coffee, cacao, A team of seven researchers -- from
Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, Ricketts, Gund Professor in UVM's Ruben- and many fruits and vegetables. UVM, Franklin and Marshall College, Uni-
noting that each year $3 billion of the U.S. stein School of Environment and Natural Re- Pesticides, climate change and diseases versity of California at Davis, and Michigan
sources. "If managed with care, they can help threaten wild bees -- but their decline may be State University -- created the maps by first

Legal marijuana sales creating

economy depends on pollination from native
pollinators like wild bees. us continue to produce billions of dollars in caused by the conversion of bee habitat into identifying 45 land-use types from two fed-
agricultural income and a wonderful diver- cropland, the study suggests. In 11 key states eral land databases, including croplands and
sity of nutritious food." where the map shows bees in decline, the natural habitats.

escalating damage to the environment

Courtesey of Science Daily, inside these growing facilities or the degra-
www.sciencedaily.com dation of outdoor air quality due to emis-
arijuana sales have created an eco- sions produced by the industrial scale
nomic boom in U.S. states that have production of marijuana.
fully or partially relaxed their cannabis laws, The authors emphasize, however, much
but is the increased cultivation and sale of of the data on marijuana cultivation to date
this crop also creating escalating environ- has come from monitoring illegal cannabis
mental damage and a threat to public health? growing operations.
In an opinion piece published by the Dr Ashworth of Lancaster Environment
journal Environmental Science and Tech- Centre said: "The illegal status of marijuana
nology, researchers from the University of has prevented us from understanding the
North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lancaster detrimental impacts that this industrial scale
University in the U.K. have called on U.S. operation has on the environment and public
federal agencies to fund studies that will health."
gather essential environmental data from the "This is an industry undergoing a his-
legal cultivation farms and facilities. toric transition, presenting an historic op-
This information could then be used to portunity to be identified as a progressive,
help U.S. states minimize any environmen- world-leading example of good practice and
tal and public health damage caused by this environmental stewardship."
burgeoning industry and aid legal marijuana The continued expansion of legalization
growers in making their business environ- by the states does offer significant opportu-
mentally sustainable. nities for the US Department of Agriculture,
State-by-state legalization is effectively Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
Man in Marijuana Field in Jamaica - Greg Weeks Photography National Institutes of Health (NIH, and Oc-
creating a new industry in U.S., one that
looks set to rival all but the largest of current versity's Lancaster Environment Centre say For example, a study of illegal outdoor cupational Safety and Health Administration
businesses. In Colorado alone, sales rev- that this expanded cultivation carries with it grow operations in northern California found (OSHA) to fund research into legal cannabis
enues have reached $1 billion, roughly equal serious environmental effects. that rates of water extraction from streams cultivation to protect the environment.
to that from grain farming in the state. By Their article points out that cannabis is threatened aquatic ecosystems. High levels "Generating accurate data in all the
2020 it is estimated that country-wide legal an especially needy crop requiring high tem- of growth nutrients, as well as pesticides, areas we discussed offers significant poten-
marijuana sales will generate more annual peratures (25-30 C for indoor operations), herbicides and fungicides, also found their tial to reduce energy consumption and envi-
revenue than the National Football League. strong light, highly fertile soil and large vol- way back into the local environment, further ronmental harm, protect public health and
But the article, titled "High Time to As- umes of water -- around twice that of wine damaging aquatic wildlife. ultimately, improve cultivation methods,"
sess the Environmental Impacts of Cannabis grapes. In addition, the authors state that the Controlling the indoor growing envi- said Dr Vizuete . "There are also significant
Cultivation" co-authored by William few available studies of marijuana cultiva- ronment requires considerable energy with potential public health issues caused by
Vizuete, associate professor of environment tion have uncovered potentially significant power requirements estimated to be similar emissions from the plants themselves rather
sciences and engineering at UNC's Gillings environmental impacts due to excessive to that of Google's massive data centers. No than smoking it. These emissions cause both
School of Global Public health and Kirsti water and energy demands and local con- significant data has been collected on the air indoor and outdoor air pollution."
Ashworth, research fellow at Lancaster Uni- tamination of water, air, and soil. pollution impacts on worker's public health

Recording Keeping
A Must For Livestock Farmers
R ecord keeping is a critical activity re-
quired for the success of any business,
including the business of agriculture. Al-
The broiler record keeping book pro-
vides simple tables for entering basic in-
formation such as; the number of birds that
though a necessary tool, it is surprising that are being produced, quantity of feed being
this area of business is often overlooked by utilized, number of birds reaching maturity
farmers much to the detriment of their agri- and their average weight.
cultural enterprises. There are also entries to be made on
The cultural norm for most Jamaican the health status of the flock and financial
farmers appears to be an over reliance on data related to expenditure and sales made,
memory recall and in a few cases, nota- which will assist in determining profit mar-
tions made in personal diaries or on calen- gins. Examples of simple but relevant cal-
dars, which are often times easily culations have also been included to assist
discarded or misplaced. This results in the farmers in utilizing the data they have gath-
loss of critical data and the generation of ered to make informed decisions.
unreliable information for making projec- The goat record keeping book allows
tions or on farm calibration related to feed, the farmer to track the progress of his ani-
watering etc. mals inclusive of does, bucks and kids.
Issues regarding economic analysis on Critical information on the kids regarding
investments, on farm practices and the birth weight, weaning weight, breed, num-
tracking of items through the value chain ber of kids, including gender will make it
(from farm to fork) requires a more struc- easier to ensure that the best animals are
tured and systematic approach to docu- maintained for continued breeding.
mentation. Therefore, a reeducation Sales and purchase entries are also
regarding the importance of records, the possible, including the health information
types of records to be maintained and the of the herd. The practical examples of cal-
significance it holds in the transformation culations contained within the book will
from subsistence mode of farming to a make it a must have within the tool kit of
profitable venture has now become one of any small ruminant farmer.
the primary activities of the Rural Agricul- Those farmers already in possession
tural Development Authority (RADA) of these record keeping books can attest to
Livestock Unit. the efficiency gains the have been able to
It is estimated that approximately 30- realize simply by keeping proper records.
40% of poultry consumed in Jamaica is The book as long as it is maintained prop-
produced by backyard operators. These erly, also provides farmers with the neces-
backyard operations produce a minimum sary documentation regarding the proof of
of 25 to in a few cases more than 4,000 ownership to retrieve stolen animals re-
birds every six weeks. covered by the security forces.
Small ruminant development, more Hard copies of these books are made
significantly goat rearing is another target available through RADA with soft copies
group with great potential for local and in- accessible on the website.
ternational markets. Therefore, to facilitate
the required documentation to enhance the
development of these groups, two record
books were developed by the RADA for
broiler and goat farmers respectively.
These user friendly record keeping books
have made the recording of data simple
and manageable.
The books provide farmers with pro-
duction targets to track their success and
entry possibilities for data on their flock or
individual animals to guide the decision
making process.

Rural Agricultural
Development Authority
Hope Gardens, Kingston 6
Tel: 876-977-1158-62
Fax: 876-970-4660

6 18
weeks At Save

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Agri ministry gets

seed production
boost from CARDI:
Minister without Portfolio in the
Ministry of Industry, Com-
merce, Agriculture and Fish-
eries, J.C. Hutchinson (2nd
right) examines a Laminar
Flow Hood used to create ster-
ile conditions at the handover
by the Caribbean Agricultural
Research and Development In-
stitute (CARDI) of equipment
and material to boost the Min-
istrys seed production capac-
ity. Along with the Minister, at
the January 11, 2017 event at
the Ministrys Hope Gardens
offices, are (l-r) Donovan Stan-
berry, permanent secretary;
Barton Clarke, Executive Di-
rector and Dionne Clarke Har-
ris, project manager CARDI;
Stefano Cilli, Agricultural At-
tach, Delegation of the Euro-
pean Union in Jamaica, who

Cassava farmers showing interest in Red Stripes project

financed the project.

By Chad Bryan, JIS Ideally, wed like to be at least 30,000 the Project, which represents approximately
assava farmers contracted under Red tonnes per hectare so that requires a lot of train- 430 acres of land.
Stripes Project Grow, have been showing ing, working with the farmers and sharing a lot The farms are located in the parishes of St.
a keen interest in the beer manufacturers vision of information, she added. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Ann, Manchester and
of substituting imported high maltose corn Dr. Cavell Dr. Francis-Rhiney informed that currently St. Elizabeth. Another set of farmers will also
syrup (HMCS), with locally produced cassava Francis- 27 farmers and one farmers group are being be contracted in short order.\
starch in the brewing process. Rhiney contracted to supply Red Stripe with tubers for
Under Project Grow, Red Stripe aims to Local Raw
substitute 40 per cent of its HMCS imports with Materials
cassava starch by 2020. Business
Red Stripe chose to utilize cassava based Development
on its ease to process and the fact that it would Manager at
not affect the signature beers taste and colour. Red Stripe
Cassava farmers contracted under Red
Stripes Project Grow, have been showing a
keen interest in the beer manufacturers vision
of substituting imported high maltose corn
syrup (HMCS), with locally produced cassava Under Project Grow, Red Stripe aims to
starch in the brewing process. substitute 40 per cent of its HMCS imports with
Local Raw Materials Business Develop- cassava starch by 2020.
ment Manager at Red Stripe, Dr. Cavell Fran- In light of the significant enthusiasm re-
cis-Rhiney, told JIS News that there has so far ported by the farmers, Dr. Francis-Rhiney noted
been an oversubscription for what we would that it is her intention to meet the targets before
need right now. the 2020 deadline.
The buy-in of the farmers has been really That is my personal target, but I must
good. We are very heartened that farmers are re- caution that it is not just growing the acreage, it
ally interested in growing (cassava). We have to is also growing the output of the farmers be-
be keeping the farmers informed and to let them cause we need the farmers to be producing at
know that well soon be getting around to their much higher tonnage per hectare than what the
group, she said. national average currently is, which is 15,000
tonnes per hectare, she said.

Norman W. Grant,
president of the Ja-
maica Agricultural
Society greets acting
Commissioner of Po-
lice Novelette Grant
during a meeting at
her Kingston office
recently. They dis-
cussed crime includ-
ing praedial larceny
which over years has
been affecting Ja-
maican farmers.
Pasture (grass) feeding for cattle

O ver the past year, the Ja-

maica Dairy Develop-
ment Board established
several hundred acres of im-
proved pasture grass on farms
throughout the island.
These grass varieties in-
clude Mulato 11, Mombasa
and Cayman Grass.
The grasses were estab-
lished mainly across dairy
clusters in St. Thomas, St.
Catherine, Clarendon and St.
Pasture grazing is the nat-
ural means of feeding cattle.
Cattle and other ruminants do
well when fed quality forage.
Supplementation with grains
and minerals support in-
creased production of both
meat and milk. CAYMAN GRASS: With a tillered growth habit, the Cayman grass produces abundant stolons.
Cayman grass provides the following: more meat, more milk with enhanced nutritional quality;
Pasture Management Tips higher stocking rate; highly palatable; stoloniferous growth; tolerant to drought; resistant to dis-
eases and pests and also resistant to moist soils.
Pasture is the most abundant
and cheapest feed for cattle.

Well managed pastures can

supply cattle with most of the
necessary nutrition and en-

By grazing lush grassland,

cattle take in adequate pro-
tein, energy, vitamins and
minerals (unless soils are very
low in certain important trace

Quality of pasture depends

on a number of factors, in-
- Type of plants grown
- Level of maturity of
plants at harvest
- Adequate moisture
MOMBASA GRASS: The grass is a tall grass, similar to hybrid Napier grass in habit, but far
during growth
more leafy and is very suitable for cut-and-carry. It is a very productive leafy grass, producing
- Soil fertility between 20 and 40 t/ha dry matter per year. Mombasa can be either rotationally grazed or set
- Fertilization stocked. Management depends on the farmers experience.

For further information contact:


Hope Gardens, Kingston 6
Tel: (876) 618-7107 Fax (876) 977-9230 Email: dairyboard@micaf.gov.jm

Samuda commits to revitalisation of dairy industry

M inister of Industry, Commerce,
Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon
Karl Samuda, has reiterated his commit-
The agriculture minister also urged the
Ministry go in search of new breeds that
are able to provide larger volumes of milk
All information gathered will be
stored electronically under the control of
the Director of Veterinary Services, who is
ment to the revitalisation of the dairy in- to supply the demand. the designated registrar by law.
In launching the Tag It and Trace It NAITS will not only serve as a deter-
dustry, noting that currently Jamaica
campaign, Minister Samuda said the rence to praedial larcenists, said Dr. Osbil
only supplies about 50% of the milk
NAITS programme was a good and valu- Watson, chief veterinary officer at the Min-
consumed annually.
able one and urged everyone to continue to istry, but will ensure that the public health
He was speaking at the launch of the inspector at the point of slaughter can iden-
support its implementation, which was
National Animal Identification System made possible by the enactment of the An- tify that it is a legitimate transaction as the
(NAITS) Publicity Campaign at Serge imals (Diseases and Importation) (Marking animal would have two ear tags and a pass-
Island Dairies Limited in Seaforth, St. of Bovine Animals) Regulations, 2015. port verifying the farm from which it orig-
Thomas, on Friday, February 10. The system makes it a legal require- inated.
In lamenting the poor policy deci- ment for all farms and establishments own- To date, over US$550,000 has been
sions of the 1990s that led to a decline ing cattle to be registered and for the cattle spent under the Inter-American Develop-
in the dairy industry, Minister Samuda to be affixed with NAITS ear tags and is- ment Bank-funded programme through the
applauded Serge Island for its efforts, sued with cattle passports. Agricultural Competitiveness Programme
initiative and use of technology in lead- The identification and registration sys- and more than 9,000 heads of cattle identi-
ing the drive towards restoration of the tem incorporates information on the ani- fied in the parishes of St. Ann, St. Cather-
industry and urged all the players in the mals identity, ownership, geographical ine, St. James and St. Mary.
sector to work with a renewed sense of location and movement activity.

Dairy Board programme increases milk production

Hon. Karl Samuda,
urgency to revive the industry. Industry, Commerce,
Agriculture and Fisheries

F ollowing the establishment of a fod-

der bank by the Jamaica Dairy De-
velopment Board (JDDB) on 17 acres of
land, using the Mulatto 11 grass, Serge
Island Farms is now reporting a 5% in-
crease in milk production over the previ-
ous year.
This project is one of several fodder
banks established by the Ministry,
through the JDDBs Dairy Sector Revi-
talisation Programme, covering 141.77
hectares of land where 23 small dairy
farmers in Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, St.
Catherine and St. Thomas have been pro-
vided with financial and technical assis-
Speaking during a tour of the Serge
Island fodder production area in
Seaforth, St. Thomas, on January 26,
General Manager of Serge Island Farms,
Dr. Gavin Bellamy, had high praises for
the new variety of grass, noting that it
had allowed the company to produce a
significantly greater amount of haylage
than would have been produced using the
African star grass.
Dr. Bellamy further noted that some
371 bales or 148,400 kilogrammes of
haylage were produced from 6.9
The Mulatto 11 grass was introduced
by the JDDB in early 2016 as part of its
drought mitigation strategy in an effort to
enhance fodder production for use dur- Donald Elvey, chairman of the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB), examines Mulatto 11 grass during a tour of one
ing periods of drought. The Mulatto 11
of the projects implemented by the JDDB in St. Thomas. As part of its drought mitigation strategy, the JDDB, in collabora-

grass was selected because of its better

tion with Serge Island Farms, planted a 17-acre demonstration plot on land owned by Serge Island Farms to demonstrate
the advantages of using it as fodder. Others from left are JDDBs Hugh Graham, chief executive officer; deputy chairman,
nutritive quality and its capacity to pro- Dr. Sophia Ramlal; Everton Parkes, farming systems specialist; and Dr. Gavin Bellamy, general manager, Serge Island Farms.
duce more feeding material.
Hugh Graham CEO, explained that This brought about the need for sup- Other strategies being implemented Additionally, a programme of em-
this project became necessary as the in- plementation to realize expected growth by the JDDB include establishment of bryo transfer is being implemented to im-
crease in the frequency of droughts had rate and avoid illness among the animals. silvo-pastoral systems using new and im- prove genetic diversity and improve
resulted in changes in the growth and This, he said, in turn resulted in increased proved fodder cultivars and species, with animal performance.
production of herbage and associated nu- costs to farmers and food costs to con- enhanced adaptability to conditions of
trient content. sumers. drought.

School-garden and
breakfast program:
The leadership of Knockalva Agricul-
tural School (l-r) Wynter McIntoch, farm
manager; Calvin G Brown, board chair-
man and Davia Robinson-Ramgeet,
principal, point to J.C. Hutchinson Min-
ister without Portfolio, Ministry of In-
dustry, Commerce, Agriculture and
Fisheries (5th left) a field of healthy
growing irish potato plants during at
tour of the school farm on February 16
in Ramble, Hanover. Also photo are Win-
ston Simpson, principal director- field
services, Rural Agricultural Develop-
ment Authority (RADA) and Collin
Henry, Hanover parish manager, RADA.
Hutchinson said both Knockalva and the
Sydney Pagon School have been air-
marked to become hubs to provide a
structured breakfast programme in pri-
mary schools. RADA is one of the key
stakeholders along with the Jamaica 4-
H Clubs, the Dairy Development Board,
the Ministry of Education as well as
other private sector entities selected to
support the school feeding programme.
-Photo/Story: Camille Beckford

OFANA to sponsor
plant tissue culture
lab at CASE
Members of the Ole Farmers Association
North America, Inc (OFANA), College of
Agriculture, Science and Education
(CASE) Alumni Association and the man-
agement of the college pose for the cam-
era during a ground breaking ceremony
for the construction of a plant tissue cul-
ture laboratory held recently at Passley
Garden, Portland. In photo are (L-R) Der-
rick Deslandes, CASE President; Peter-
son Warburton, OFANA Secretary;
Shirley Bailey, OFANA VP Georgia;
Norma Jarrett, OFANA President; Web-
ster McPherson, CASE Alumni President;
Wendell Codner, OFANA Public Relations
Officer; Terrence Johnson (OFANA As-
sistant Treasurer; Jurist Willis-Taylor,
OFANA Assistant Secretary; Vannetta
Leslie-James, OFANA Member; and
George Kates, CASE Chairman.

Calver t y
Farm Store
& Hard ware
Good People, Good Product

Farm tools and equipment

Fertilizers Seeds
Animal Feeds Pesticides
A wide range of hardware supplies

27 Cumberland Road, HI-PRO WINNERS:

Spanish Town, St. Catherine

Students showoff their winning prize at the re-
richardsjuliet1966@gmail.com cent Hague Agricultural Show. Hi-Pro Farm Sup-
plies sponsored several competitive events aimed
at attracting more young people into agriculture
at the annual show which was held in Trelawney.