Agri ministry launches data-sharing system
Published: Tuesday | December 15, 2009
Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of agriculture and fisheries, sits by as Dr Karen Hilliard, USAID mission director to Jamaica, addresses the official launch of the Jamaica Agricultural Marketing Information System at the agriculture ministry in St Andrew yesterday. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer
The Ministry of Agriculture has launched a data-sharing system that could lower the price of agricultural produce to consumers.
Agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said the sharing of price data through the Jamaica Agricultural Marketing Information System (JAMIS), launched yesterday, would force efficiency throughout the agricultural sector and push farmers to address long-standing problems such as post-harvest losses.
Pointing out that up to 40 per cent of crops were lost between reaping and harvesting, Tufton said these losses were passed on to the consumer.
"So this (JAMIS) will make farmers take a closer look at things, like post-harvest losses, to see how they can minimise it," he said.
In addition, Tufton said JAMIS would assist farmers in planning their production and promoting a more transparent marketplace "by putting buyers and sellers on an equal bargaining basis".
However, he said the system would only succeed if everyone in the agricultural sector understood how it worked.
JAMIS is an Internet-based programme which collects, compiles and distributes prices to all the players in the agricultural sector. Consumers can also use this website to compare prices before making purchases.