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Food import bill increases marginally

Published:Thursday | May 9, 2013 | 10:10 AM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor – Radio

Agriculture minister, Roger Clarke, has dismissed suggestions there’s been a significant increase in imported foods.

Speaking in the Sectoral debate yesterday, Clarke said the food import bill moved only 2 per cent last year from US938 million to US$959 million.

He argued that the increase in value is attributable to increases in the prices of imported food due to increased world food prices.

Responding to calls for greater import substitution Clarke argued that it’s not as easy as it seems.

He says it’s also important to note that some of the corn imported is used to manufacture animal feed which is then exported throughout the Caribbean.

The agriculture minister says while imports increased marginally in value, food exports moved up by 22.3 per cent from US$224 million in 2011 to US$274 million last year.

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