JM | Nov 25, 2020

Jamaica’s food security ‘largely met’ for Christmas: Meat, tubers in good supply

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Meat shooping in the Mandeville Market. (Photo: Wonders of Jamaica)

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green says Jamaica’s food security and food supply chains are more or less stable for the Christmas season.

Green, speaking at a virtual post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Wednesday (November 25), argued that tubers and most meat products are in adequate supply to meet the festive demand.

“In relation to our tubers and meat products, we do have sufficient supply,” he explained.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green. (Photo: JIS)

Particularly, Green indicated that yams, potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as chicken, pork and goat meat, are at levels that should meet local demand for the 2020 Christmas season.

Fresh vegetable crops—the farmers of which suffered heavy losses following the severe weather induced by tropical storms Zeta, Eta, and Iota—could prove to be more expensive in the coming weeks as the supply chain tries to recover.

“Where we’re going to have some challenges are our vegetable crops. We’ve seen significant damage to our tomato, cucumber, lettuce, [and] cabbage crops and we do expect that you will see a break in the supply chain in relation to those,” he said.

Irish potatoes, as well as their sweeter cousins and yams, are in good supply for the 2020 Christmas season, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Minister Green said across Jamaica, some 3,000 hectares of farmland reported negative impacts from the recent rains—with a $2.5 billion estimated in damages and losses from over 14,000 farmers.

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will continue its assessment to see how bad the break in supply is, and if there are additional measures needed, Minister Green said the government will take action to meet demand.

Earlier in October, Agri Minister Floyd Green visited these pepper farmers in St Catherine to assess the damage to their crops after heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Zeta. (Photo: Twitter @FloydGreenJA)

“We are watching tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, canteloupe, squash, zucchini and cauliflower to see if there needs to be any supplemental supply for Christmas,” Green contended.


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