Boost farms with local feed stuff
THE EDITOR, Sir: I read the article, 'Massive chicken back bill: $2.7 billion spent on imports last year', and was moved to comment.
The last point made by Keith Amiel in the article is related to the question of rural development and community involvement. We no longer use the technical schools to find ingenious ways to use local materials to increase productivity of the agriculture sector. Jamaica's only agricultural high school is in St Elizabeth. What is happening there? Have you seen or heard of an innovation coming out of that place?
One of the major costs associated with raising chicken is the price of feed, which is imported. There are several plants growing in Jamaica which, when mixed with other materials, could produce this feed. However, this is not explored. Where is the University of the West Indies (UWI) in this? Who is coor-dinating the efforts? Our politicians?
A shift away from imported chicken back to locally produced chicken back, which is dependent on imported inputs, does not solve our problem. In fact, it could make it worse. Therefore, we need to decrease the ratio of imported inputs to local inputs. Let us start with energy and agricultural inputs, as well as maximise the linkages within sector and across sectors.
University of Nottingham