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Gov't to spend $60m to ease Irish potato shortage

Published:Tuesday | October 15, 2013 | 2:39 PM

Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke says the Government is to spend approximately $60 million to assist Irish potato farmers to make up the shortfall in production.

Unavailability of seeds and the absence of a summer crop have been blamed for the shortage.

Speaking on Power 106 FM’s Independent Talk this morning, Clarke revealed that local production now stands at approximately 8 million kilograms, down from the average 10 million kilograms produced annually.

Clarke said consultations with importers have resulted in farmers being provided with tools, fertilisers and sprays.

He says the Government has, so far, assisted in the provision of the sprays and extension services.

Yesterday, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society Senator Norman Grant, said in another six months, the organisation will be rolling out its central marketing system to help in the even distribution of Irish potatoes.

Grant said the organisation is seeking a grant or loan of $200 million to set up the distribution system.


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