The Jamaican government has allocated around $100 million to give a boost to crop production of the island nation, in particular potatoes and onions. The minister made the disclosure while addressing stakeholders at the launch of the 2018/2019 Irish Potato Programme at the Christ Church in Christiana, Manchester, on October 4.
Minister Shaw noted that the demand for table potatoes in Jamaica was 34 million pounds per year. He encouraged the farmers to practise climate-smart agriculture, to help grow the sector in a sustainable way. “We are not taking advantage of climate-smart initiatives such as drip irrigation which is one of the solutions which as government, we are going to find a way even to subsidise those who want to get into it,” he added.
“If we have the appropriate systems such as irrigation, Irish potato can be grown year round rather than the two times of year we do it now. People eat Irish potato year round. We have steady tropical condition all year,” he stated.