Wed | Nov 25, 2015

Gov’t moves to close food import gap

Published:Wednesday | September 19, 2012 | 9:05 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer

The Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke says over the next three years, the government will spend eight million US dollars to develop eight agro-parks to boost local production as part of a move to enhance food security.

The parks will be built in St Thomas, St Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St Elizabeth and Trelawny.

Clarke says the agriculture ministry is collaborating with private sector companies to expand corn production.

According to him, some 200 acres of land in Amity Hall, St. James will be used for growing corn.

Clarke lamented that Jamaica continues to satisfy its food needs through importation which puts the country among the most import-dependent nations in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The agriculture minister said, last year, the country’s food import bill increased to US$936 million.

He says the gap between food import and export continues to widen at a frightening pace each year.