By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker

JIS Reporter
eteran agriculturalist
Lenworth Fulton as-
sumed the role of Chief
Executive Officer of the Rural
Agricultural Development Au-
thority (RADA) since May 1.
Fulton who heads the Jamaica
4-H Clubs for 12 years was offi-
cially welcomed to his new post
by Agriculture and Fisheries Min-
ister Roger Clarke, during a press
briefing on April 24 at his Hope
Gardens offices in St. Andrew.
Clarke said the new CEO is
quite knowledgeable about the
“inner workings of RADA”, hav-
ing been a member of the board
for some time. “He is in familiar
territory and I hope, and expect,
that he will bring to bear all the
expertise that he [has gained] at
4-H,” he stated.
The Minister said Fulton’s ap-
pointment also presents a “grand
opportunity” to establish a greater
linkage between the 4-H Clubs
and RADA, in an effort to in-
crease youth involvement in the
agricultural sector.
Fulton brings to RADA, a
wealth of experience in manage-
ment, agriculture and economics.
He is a graduate of the Jamaica
School of Agriculture, now Col-
lege of Agriculture, Science and
Education (CASE) and Tuskegee
University in the United States,
where he obtained a Diploma in
General Agriculture and a Bach-
elor of Science in Economics, re-
Fulton replaces outgoing Acting
CEO of RADA, Harold Spauld-
ing, who retires at the end of this
month and was confirmed in the
position in January after being
asked to steer the agency in the
wake of the dismissal of chief ex-
ecutive officer Al Powell, a year
In the meantime, the Minister
also announced the appointment
of five new members to the board
of RADA.
They are: President and Chief
Executive Officer, Caribbean
Vibes Limited, Bevon Morrison;
Director of the Agricultural Mar-
keting Information Division,
Ministry of Agriculture and Fish-
eries, Michael Pryce; Executive
Assistant to the Minister, Natalie
Johnson; President, International
Community Institute, Valrie
Dixon; and Development Con-
sultant, Janet Bedasee.
Minister Clarke said the new
members will bring a wealth of
expertise to the agency. “They
bring to the table different areas
of expertise, but their commit-
ment towards the strengthening of
RADA is something that will be
brought to bear as we move for-
ward,” he stated.
Clarke informed that the ap-
pointments were necessary, as
there were a number of vacant po-
sitions on the board.
He further remarked that the ad-
dition will bring “balance to the
table”, pointing out that of the
five new members, four are
women. He noted that an increase
in female and youth participation
in the agricultural sector forms
part of the Ministry’s thrust.
Fulton heads RADA
Chief Executive Officer, RADA
March Against
By Connor Adams
he March Against Monsanto is a worldwide day of protest to
raise awareness of concerns regarding the company's products.
The event will sweep across the globe on Saturday, May 25,
bringing like-minded individuals from all corners of the earth together
to draw attention to the issue of genetically modified and genetically
engineered crops and seeds. The March Against Monsanto is a world-
wide protest taking place Saturday, May 25. Continued on page 4
he Jamaican traditional food crops
including cocoa, coffee, coconut,
sugar cane, citrus and pimento have
experienced up to 50% declined in overall
production during the past three decades.
These crops are managed and regulated
by government-controlled Commodity
Boards that are not funded by taxpayers.
The Boards in some cases are poorly man-
aged and are cited in several Auditor Gen-
eral’s reports for gross misappropriation of
its resources.
Farmers and stakeholders agree that the
Boards are necessary for the long-term sus-
tainability and growth of the respective
commodities and also agree that we need
to resolve these issues.
Successive ministers of agriculture in-
cluding Horace Clarke, Roger Clarke and
Chris Tufton have been ill-advised and
were determined to merge these entities
into one “Super-Board” as a solution to the
Without any previous serious baseline
studies and consultation with farmers, the
government is fast-tracking a project on the
rationalization of the regulatory functions
of the Cocoa, Coffee and Coconut Boards
as well as the Ministry’s Export Division.
Veteran agriculturalist Garnet Brown is
now reviewing existing legislation of the
legal framework for the development of a
single entity that will take on the role of
four or more Boards.
But, if we cannot manage the small
Cocoa Board, who will manage the
“Super-Board” with the multiple unique
variables coming from the participating
The “Super-Board” will lack focus and
fail miserably! The Board’s management
and staff will be the only winners as their
fees and salaries are secured.
Farmers and other private investors are
not interested in the research and develop-
ment agenda of any crop.
Take for example, as soon as the govern-
ment divest its regulatory interest in the
Citrus Board/Association, the crop’s agro-
nomic care started to decline rapidly.
The Citrus Growers Association was
more about making money from today’s
crop of fruits. Very little focus or attention
was given to the overall sustainability of
the crop including pest or disease manage-
We are urging that the merger is not the
solution. We need several “commodity
boards” that are focused on specific crops
with synergy along with the government,
farmers and other stakeholders as partners.
This is the winning formula used all over
the world where agriculture is successful.
Jamaican agriculture cannot grow with-
out proper structures and systems in place
to protect producers and longevity of the
Publisher -The Agriculturalist
The opinions expressed in this newspaper, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Agriculturalist and its publishers. Please send your comments or suggestions
to Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all articles will be published.
ater scarcity in all its aspects has
serious economic, social and even
political costs. There are times in
our recent history where serious scarcity has
propelled the Government and the NWC to
divert water from farmers in St Thomas to
Since then commercial farming in the Yal-
lahs Valley and surrounding areas perished
and social decay sets in.
Was the government of the day really con-
cerned about the future economic prospects
of the St Thomas people? and ipso facto, the
future of the country’s economy? Or is it that
the usual developmental myopia and politi-
cal arrogance deemed the St Thomas water
as having higher economic value in urban
and industrial use than for agricultural pur-
The debate about the use of municipal
waste water to irrigate lands for crop agri-
cultural production in Jamaica appears to be
led by those actuated by fear rather than de-
velopmental pragmatism, and appears to be
filled with fluff and froth.
Absent from the debate is the knowledge
of successful commercial trials in Jamaica
and also that 10% of agricultural production
in about 50 countries is done with waste
In Jamaica we gladly pay high prices for,
and consume hundreds of millions of dollars
of foreign foods that are produced using mu-
nicipal waste water for irrigation.
I speak specifically of apples, peaches,
grapes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet
pepper, tomato, corn, oats and wheat.The
drought cycles in Jamaica are becoming
more frequent and for longer periods.
Nearly 70% of our crop agricultural pro-
duction is rain fed. It is also a fact that a sig-
nificant proportion of the lands that were
supported by the established irrigation
schemes have been raided by the developers
thereby making it impossible to produce any-
thing at an economy scale which is competi-
Political leaders have betrayed the popula-
tion of Jamaica over several decades by caus-
ing the country’s fertile flat and irrigated
lands to be misused by housing and com-
mercial developers for pecuniary favors.
The result of this treason is the high food
import bill which the country can ill afford,
low agricultural productivity and production,
declining export and an elusive food security
The use of reclaimed water in agriculture
is an option that is increasingly being inves-
tigated and taken up in countries with water
scarcity, growing urban populations and
growing demand for irrigation water.
Phillip Paulwell, former Minister of Com-
merce Science and Technology, in 1998
being seized of the growing water stress
being experienced by the agricultural sector
and the relentless growth in demand for water
in the face of diminishing supply and peri-
odic drought, led a policy initiative that
sought to employ municipal waste water for
agricultural production.
Publisher & Editor:
Patrick Maitland
Advertising Executives:
Tricia Reece • Lancelot Williams, Jr
Consulting Editors:
Vincent Wright, Jairzenho Bailey
Produced & Published
Agri Life Foundation Ltd
AMC Complex,
188 Spanish Town Road,
Kingston 11, Jamaica, W.I.
Tel: (876) 923-7471• 923-7428
Fax: (876) 923-7428
The ‘Super-Board’ lack focus and will fail
Agricultural production needs irrigation water!
Agricultural Consultant
probe has been launched into the
operations of Agro Invest Corpo-
ration, the entity overseeing the es-
tablishment of agro parks which form a
major plank of the Government of Ja-
maica's growth strategy.
Roger Clarke, Minister of Agriculture,
said that the auditors have been called in
as there is a suspicion of impropriety.
The spotlight was turned on Agro Invest
late last month after Audley Shaw, Oppo-
sition Spokesman on Finance, urged the
Government to resolve issues affecting the
agro parks programme. Mr. Shaw, during
his contribution to the Budget Debate, said
problems were developing at Agro Invest.
He claimed that five persons had been dis-
missed from the entity and the implemen-
tation of agro parks was virtually in
The Minister of Agriculture has now
confirmed that all is not well at the entity.
“Some of the things that have been un-
earthed tend to tell you that something
wasn’t going well in terms of the adminis-
tration. We have called in the auditors and
they are checking on that now. I can just
say simply that even some of the assets of
the government cannot be found in this
point in time,” said Mr. Clarke.
He said the agro parks programme is
being reorganised in order to speed up its
The Government is expecting J$1.1 bil-
lion dollars to flow to farmers before the
end of this fiscal year as a result of activi-
ties on the first five of nine proposed agro
parks to be established across the island.
JAS and Digicel Sign $30 M Sponsorship Deal
March Against
Continued from page 1
Monsanto has come under increasing fire
from food advocacy and consumer safety
groups in recent months, as the company
has been in the public eye, particularly as
controversy raged in March over the so-
called Monsanto Protection Act, a bit of
policy inserted into the HR 933 spending
bill that granted the company increased
protection from legal challenges. The pro-
vision was signed into law in late March
by President Barack Obama
The figurative jury is still out on
whether or not genetically modified and
genetically engineered foods have nega-
tive health impacts on humans, but sup-
porters of GMO labeling point to studies
showing potential risks ranging from kid-
ney and liver damage to reproductive sys-
tem issues.
Those concerns are in large part driving
citizens around the world to protest the
company on Saturday.
The March Against Monsanto events
come at a time of renewed scrutiny of
Monsanto and the GMO industry in gen-
eral, as awareness grows about an amend-
ment inserted into the 2013 Farm Bill
passed by the House of Representatives'
Agriculture Committee Wednesday.
Food advocates warn that the provision
would revoke the ability of individual
states' lawmakers to pass GMO-labeling
he Jamaica Agricultural
Society (JAS) and
telecommunications giant,
Digicel, on Monday, May 20,
signed a $30 million contract to
provide support for the Denbigh
Agricultural Industrial and Food
Show over the next three years.
Speaking at the signing event
held at Digicel’s downtown
Kingston headquarters, JAS Pres-
ident, Senator Norman Grant,
commended the company on the
partnership, which started 12
years ago.
"We are very excited about this
sponsorship, which we see as
strategic, and is a perfect fit, be-
cause technology is going to help
to boost and move agriculture.
The way we communicate among
our 230,000 farmers, is signifi-
cant, and this signals the deepen-
ing of the relationship between
Digicel and the agricultural sector
as a whole…we are going to use
this opportunity to ensure that we
move agriculture in Jamaica to the
next level,” he stated.
Senator Grant said the JAS is
seeking to diversify the Denbigh
show, which started some 61
years ago.
“We are going to be going all
out to make this exciting product
the very best,” he remarked. The
agreement represents $4 million
in cash value, and the remainder
in marketing and promotional
support, including social media,
text promotion, mini board adver-
tising, and signage for the show
over the three years.
Sponsorship Manager for Digicel Jamaica, Tanida Nunes,
presents President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society
(JAS), Senator Norman Grant, with a representational
cheque for $30 million, signaling the telecommunications
company support for the Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and
Food Show over the next three years.
Clarke to Probe Agro Invest Corporation
he Ministry of
Agriculture and
Fisheries, on Thurs-
day, May 9, signed an
agreement with Caribbean
Broilers to immediately
put 800 acres of land into
sorghum production, at
Amity Hall in St. Cather-
Planting began on Thurs-
day under the project,
which is among the first
initiatives being under-
taken in the establishment
of the Ministry’s flagship
Agro Parks concept.
Speaking at the signing
and post-Sectoral press
briefing at the Ministry’s
Hope Garden’s location,
portfolio Minister, Hon.
Roger Clarke, said the col-
laboration came about
after observing Caribbean
Broilers successful culti-
vation of sorghum. The
company also needed
more land for production.
"The opportunity pre-
sented itself… and we can
provide some of those
lands. Over the past few
weeks, we have done quite
a lot of land preparation in
readiness for their begin-
ning to sow the seeds al-
most immediately,” he
“This is going to be a
real fillip to our being able
to substitute some of that
US$300 million that we
spend to bring in
grains…this is going to be
able to make a dent in
that,” Mr. Clarke asserted.
Sorghum is one of a nu-
merous species of grasses,
which is raised for grain
and many of which are
used as fodder plants.
Basic infrastructure will
be put in by the Ministry,
such as drainage and irri-
gation, with the land being
leased by Agro Invest Cor-
poration, an agency of the
The Ministry will be im-
plementing nine agro
parks over the next three
years at a cost of US$8
million. The parks will
contribute to employment;
increase agricultural out-
put; reduce the national
food import bill, and stim-
ulate food exports.
The project is being
funded in part by the Euro-
pean Union, with the Agro
Investment Corporation
and the National Irrigation
Commission providing in-
frastructure development
and irrigation facilities, re-
Among the crops being
contemplated for produc-
tion include some 1,700
acres of sorghum to reduce
grain imports for animal
feed, which is currently
Some 689 acres of
onions are to be planted
shortly, to reduce the im-
port bill for onions by ap-
proximately 45 per cent.
Additionally, 550 acres of
legumes, vegetables, tu-
bers and condiments will
be cultivated.
In his contribution to the
2013/14 Sectoral Debate
in the House of Represen-
tatives on May 8, Minister
Clarke noted that signifi-
cant production activities
are already taking place at
New Forest/Duff House
and Yallahs, as two new ir-
rigation schemes have
been completed for these
“The value that these
agro parks will add is to
orientate production to de-
fined markets by linking
existing farmers to private
sector buyers. This work is
currently being done, and
therefore, for all intents
and purposes, these two
agro parks will come on
stream this year,” Mr.
Clarke said.
Agro Parks, targeted
specifically at import sub-
stitution, are being devel-
oped through a tri-partite
partnership involving the
Government, farmer/in-
vestors, and the private
pposition spokesman on agri-
culture, JC Hutchinson has
criticised Agriculture Minis-
ter Roger Clarke for offering "nothing
new" in his recent sectoral debate con-
"I was really expecting him to pres-
ent projects or programmes that were
not a carry over from the JLP (Ja-
maica Labour Party) Government,"
Hutchinson told the House of Repre-
sentatives Wednesday as he made his
contribution to the debate.
"All the projects-- Irish potato, gin-
ger, turmeric, irrigation, sugar hous-
ing, Agro Parks, small ruminant,
fisheries --are all continuing projects
from either the former PNP (People's
National Party) Government or the
former JLP government. I congratu-
late him for continuing these projects,
but I was hoping for something more,"
Hutchinson said.
He also accused the Government of
introducing counter-productive taxes,
which were inhibiting the growth po-
tential of the agricultural sector. He
said that General Consumption Tax
(GCT) and customs duties for agricul-
tural items have curtailed the ability
of farmers to access agricultural in-
"The GCT and fees collected at the
port, are much less than the foreign
exchange that would be earned and
the added production that would be
achieved, if they were removed,"
Hutchinson said.
He said that if recent increases in
property taxes could not be delayed,
as the Opposition had demanded, the
Government should be implemented
over a five-year period.
Clarke offered nothing new—Hutchinson
Agriculture Ministry
Signs Agreement for
800 Acres of Sorghum
he Spring Village Development
Foundation, in St Catherine, was vis-
ited recently by Governor General
Patrick Allen and Lady Allen who presented
a $200,000 cheque to assist with the com-
pletion of its I Believe Spring Village
Health Clinic. Spring Village was desig-
nated last year as a "model for community
development" by the governor general's 'I
Believe Initiative'.
In addressing representatives of the com-
munity and major sponsor of the founda-
tion, the Jamaica Broilers Group - led by its
chairman, Robert Levy - the governor gen-
eral commended the company for its sup-
port of the projects carried out by the Spring
Village Foundation. "Jamaica Broilers not
only operates its Best Dressed Chicken pro-
cessing plant in the area, but the company
gives back to the community," he said.
In his remarks, executive director of the
Spring Village Foundation, Randy Finnikin,
said since the launch of the foundation 15
years ago, the Jamaica Broilers Group has
been a consistent supporter of its pro-
grammes to empower residents. "The Ja-
maica Broilers Group has been there for us
from the beginning, until today with this
health clinic," Finnikin said.
He noted that the governor general's I Be-
lieve Initiative has also provided the Spring
Village Foundation complex with free Wi-
Fi access to benefit residents in the Human
Employment And Resource Training
(HEART) Trust training programmes, after-
work and homework assistance, as well as
to provide support for parenting and youth-
empowerment sessions. In addition,
Finnkin said last year, the I Believe Initia-
tive sponsored a Mr and Miss Spring Vil-
lage pageant which engendered
camaraderie among members of the com-
munity, and a parenting forum early this
The health clinic was primarily financed
and constructed by a team of missionaries
from the Jamaica Missions of Minnesota,
USA, who are experts in various areas of
the construction industry. They worked
more than three months to convert four 40ft
containers into a useable space, comprising
three examination rooms, a dental room,
medical personnel offices, drug storeroom,
a laboratory, a waiting room and a ramp for
wheelchair access.
The health centre was scheduled to be
opened on May 1 and will be operated in
collaboration with the St Catherine Health
Department, which will provide the medical
"This new clinic will have state-of-the-art
equipment to provide top-class, full-service
care in mental, physical and dental health
on an ongoing basis. Our strategy is that as
the programme grows, residents who are in-
terested in learning skills in the medical
field will be trained to support the services
being offered at the facility," Finnikin said.
GG's 'I Believe' Gives $200,000
To Spring Village Clinic
Technical field offiers of Nutramix Feeds (l-r) Balford Thomas, Patrick Fair-
weather and Ashley Huie pose for the camera at the recent St. Mary Agri Expo
Show held in Annotto Bay, St. Mary.
he agricultural sector and in particular the
coconut industry has lost a true icon. Dr.
Richard Jones, a Veterinarian by profession,
joined the Coconut Industry Board as a Director in
1981. He first served as Chairman of the Board
during the period 1989 to 2007 and 2009 until his
passing on Marh 31, 2013.
Dr. Jones was a champion of the “small” farmer
and in his quiet, unassuming way he would spear-
head and drive initiatives that would seek to in-
crease the income earning potential and growth of
the farmer.
He was instrumental in the introduction of the
planting programmes under which coconut
seedlings, fertilizer and a weed control grant were
given by the Board to registered coconut growers.
Dr. Jones worked tirelessly and was always seek-
ing ways to improve the production of coconut in
the country. He felt that research was a vehicle
which could achieve this.
Under his chairmanship, work was done with the
University of the West Indies on the tissue culture
of coconuts and extensive research done on lethal
yellowing disease, in collaboration with the Com-
mon Fund for Commodities under the project en-
titled “Sustainable Coconut Production through
control of Coconut Lethal Yellowing.”
How do you measure the stature of a man
Is it the food he eats or the friends he keeps
Is it the things he possesses or the colour of his skin
It’s the legacy he leaves behind, the trails be
blazed, the standards that he set
That set him apart from the rest
18 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10
The Coconut Industry Salutes Dr. Richard A. Jones
“Making the Difference in Agriculture”
The Board, Management and Staff of the
National Irrigation Commission Limited wishes to recognise the sterling contribution
of the late Dr. Richard Jones to the agricultural community during his career as
a veterinarian, farmer and scientist. His contribution to the coconut industry has laid
the foundation for future developments in the agricultural sector. In supporting this rich legacy,
the National Irrigation Commission Limited remains committed to providing effective and efficient
irrigation services to our farmers for the further development of Jamaica’s Agricultural Sector.
National Irrigation Commission Limited
191 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6
Tel.: (876) 977-4022/6727/6624
Fax: (876) 927-2696
The management and staff at
Fred M. Jones Estate wishes
to honor the legacy
he late Dr. Jones shall be remembered as an
extraordinary contributor to the develop-
ment of agriculture as he left an indelible
mark in numerous industries within the sector. De-
scribed as a man with extreme work ethic, as-
tounding kindness and humanitarian ideals much
gratitude is to be shown to his outstanding service
and contribution to Jamaican agriculture. His port-
folio included positions as Chairman of the Golden
Grove Sugar Company, Chairman and CEO of
Fred M. Jones Estate and Williamsfield Estate,
Chairman of the Coconut Industry Board, Vice
Chairman and Director at Seprod group of compa-
nies, Operator at Duckenfield factory as well as a
leading private farmer in cane and cattle. His char-
acter has influenced a vast number of people as
many bonds were formed within the agricultural
community in which he participated in for more
than 20 years and other close friends and family
keep his memory deeply embedded in their hearts.
‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die,’
-Thomas Campbell
Hordley Cross Roads,
Golden Grove P.O. St. Thomas
The Sugar Industry Authority takes this opportunity to salute a
giant of the Sugar Industry.
It is not widely known that Dr. Richard Jones was, in fact, for
many years the largest cane farmer in Jamaica and had become a
director of the Golden Grove Sugar Factory.
This mild mannered, well-loved Jamaican, up to a few weeks be-
fore his passing was still pursuing pressing issues in the
interest of the industry.
We shall miss him and his wise counsel and would wish to extend
condolences to his family.
By Alessandro Boyd
Courtesy of the Gleaner
amaica has lost an important icon
in its agricultural sector with
March 31 death of Dr Richard
Jones. He was 73.
Jones held a number of positions
throughout the agricultural community
such as board chairman of the Golden
Grove Sugar Company, chairman of
the Fred M. Jones Estate and operator
of the Duckenfield factory.
Dr Karl Wellington, a director of the
Jamaica Livestock Association who
knew Jones for more than 50 years,
stressed the important role he played in
the agricultural industry.
"He has made an outstanding contri-
bution to Jamaica's agriculture. I per-
sonally recognise him as one of the
leading cattle breeders in Jamaica start-
ing from the youthful days when he
represented Jamaica in cattle judging
at the royal agriculture show in Eng-
land. He also served as a judge at the
National Denbigh Show almost every
year," Wellington told The Gleaner.
He also noted that Jones was one of
the most faithful and reliable members
of the Jamaican Red Poll Cattle Breed-
ers Society.
"Apart from the cattle business with
which I was so closely associated, he
was also chairman of the Coconut
Growers' Association and one of the
largest private cane farmers in Ja-
maica. He has done something excel-
lent for agriculture commercially in
Jamaica. We have to give thanks for
his service and the friendship that we
shared," Wellington said.
Nicholas Jones also commented on
the kindness of his uncle (Richard
Jones) and the pivotal role he played in
his life.
"He was a very generous person,
quick-witted, kind, gracious and had
the ability to laugh at all times, even at
himself. He was also a great judge of
livestock and was someone who had
learnt to be in sync with the timeliness
that is involved with agriculture,"
Nicholas said.
Generous, Quick-Witted, Kind, Gracious
The late
Dr Richard Jones
He was 73.
By Emilio Godoy
he Food and Agriculture Or-
ganisation’s recommenda-
tion to consider using edible
insects as a food source to combat
hunger may have particular reper-
cussions in Colombia and Mexico,
two Latin American countries that
have a tradition of eating insects
and a high degree of biodiversity.
Mexico has 300 edible insect
species, according to a study pub-
lished in May by the entomology
department of Wageningen Uni-
versity in the Netherlands and the
Food and Agriculture Organisation
of the United Nations (FAO), titled
“Edible insects: Future prospects
for food and feed security”.
But local researchers have iden-
tified more than 500 species in the
centre, south and southeast of Mex-
ico, a mega-biodiverse country
with a poverty rate of 47 percent.
“Insects are a viable, cheap
source of high quality food that
could be even better than the pack-
aged foods that are consumed at
present,” researcher Julieta Ramos-
Elorduy, at the National Au-
tonomous University of Mexico’s
Biology Institute, told IPS.
In her view, “This country is
ready for mass consumption of in-
sects, but people need education
about techniques and ways of mar-
keting them. Protecting them is not
a concern. There are no official
measures,” said the expert, who
has been carrying out research
since the 1970s on the benefits of
insects, and has reported 549 edi-
ble species.
The issue acquires an environ-
mental dimension, particularly on
International Day for Biological
Diversity, celebrated this Wednes-
day May 22.
Eating insects or entomophagy is
an indigenous tradition in Mexico,
attested to by the Florentine Codex,
written by Franciscan friar
Bernardino de Sahagún (1499-
1590) who described the consump-
tion of 96 species.
Some insects provide up to three
times more protein, weight for
weight, than beef, and their nutri-
ent concentrations are surpassed
only by fish, according to the Na-
tional Commission for Knowledge
and Use of Biodiversity
The Mexican insect menu is
made up of blood-sucking bugs,
worms, beetles, butterflies, ant and
fly larvae, bees, wasps and “cha-
pulin” grasshoppers. They can be
grilled, fried or served with differ-
ent kinds of sauces.
In recent decades, several of
these delicacies have vaulted from
kitchens in poor rural homes to ta-
bles in fancy restaurants.
In Mitla, a town close to a Za-
potec archaeological site of the
same name in the southern state of
Oaxaca, a small business uses
moth larvae (Hypopta agavis) that
feed on American aloe leaves to
make a hot spicy salt to accompany
mescal, an alcoholic drink distilled
from the same aloe plant.
“We follow a homemade recipe.
Grinding is done by hand and we
use a hand mixer. We also package
by hand,” Diana Corona, the com-
mercial manager of the firm Gran
Mitla which produces 300 kilo-
grams of “sal de gusano” (larva
salt) a month, told IPS.
It takes 300 grams of ground lar-
vae, 300 grams of dry chili peppers
and 400 grams of salt to produce
one kilo.
The larvae or worms are col-
lected from August to October and
frozen to ensure continuous pro-
duction, as from November to the
following May harvesting is
banned throughout the country.
The FAO publication says that
more than 1,900 species are part of
the traditional diets of at least two
billion people worldwide. The
favourites are beetles, caterpillars,
bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, lo-
custs and crickets.
Collecting and farming insects
could create jobs and income, and
could have industrial-scale poten-
tial, the authors say.
By Patricia Grogg
HAVANA (IPS) - When Gabriela
Blanco tells other Cubans that
she works in an organic veg-
etable cooperative and is getting
ready to study agronomy at the
university, she gets surprised
She is not sure where her voca-
tion came from, but she does
know that this is what she wants
to do. In Cuba, which is seeking
to boost agricultural yields, there
is a scarcity of young people
working in the sector.
Blanco, a petite 20-year-old,
dropped her math studies after
two years to try her hand at the
Vivero Alamar, a successful agri-
cultural cooperative in Havana
that operates as a Basic Unit of
Cooperative Production.
“I began working here in Sep-
tember 2012; in three months
they made me a member of the
cooperative. I realised that I re-
ally like it and I want to stay
here. The agricultural sector has
lots of possibilities and many
fields of investigation; it’s a very
interesting and lovely experi-
ence,” she told IPS.
Mercedes Cepero, 18, has had
a similar experience, although
she came to this cooperative to
fulfil her professional training re-
quirement as an agronomy tech-
nician. “I’ve passed the student
stage, and now I have to get
trained and learn as a worker. I
used to think that agronomy was
just working with a hoe in the
sun, but I was wrong,” she told
Cuban Agriculture Needs Young People
Insects, from Delicacy
to Tool against Hunger
Toasted grasshoppers on sale in the Benito Juárez market in
the capital of Oaxaca state, Mexico. Credit: Nsaum75
AgroFest 2013 sets for May 25
lans are in high gear for
the staging of the annual
agricultural and industrial
show, 'Agrofest' scheduled to be
held on Saturday, May 25 on the
Jamaica College Grounds on
Old Hope Road, Kingston 6.
The annual parish agricultural
and food show features agricul-
tural and horticultural exhibits
from Kingston and St Andrew.
This year's show will also fea-
ture a farmers' market, farm
queen competition, Guards-
man's canine display, mounted
police, kiddies' village and a va-
riety of entertainment for the
whole family.
"These are all signs that tell us
that while there are challenges,
the exciting opportunities in
agriculture and the ability to
provide linkages with tourism,
manufacturing and the export
sector can realise real growth
for the Jamaican economy," he
told Saturday's launch of the
17th staging of AgroFest 2013
at the JAS head office, Church
Street in downtown Kingston.
He said that agriculture is the
"life blood" of Jamaica's eco-
nomic development, and pre-
dicted that with the support
being provided in the 2013/14
budget for the Ministry of Agri-
culture, Jamaica can start a
meaningful journey to becom-
ing "the place of choice to live
do business and raise families ".
Kingston and St Andrew As-
sociation of JAS Branch Soci-
eties in association with the
Ministry of Agriculture and
Fisheries, stages the annual
Agricultural and Industrial
Show, 'Agrofest.'
Food import bill
could skyrocket
amaica's food import bill,
may be impacted once again
this year, by higher priced
wheat due to acts of nature.
The news came as a record
freeze in wheat growing areas
caused extensive crop damage and
this is expected to push prices
higher later this year.
The coldest start ever to the
wheat-growing season in Kansas
and freezing weather across the
U.S. southern Great Plains are
compounding damage to U.S.
crops already hurt by last years
drought, which was the worst
since the 1930s.
Norman Grant
JAS President
There is evidence that, especially
in recent years, poor smallholder
farmers are turning to agro forestry
as a means to adapt to the impacts
of climate change. The trees help to
mitigate the effects of climate
change by helping to stabilize ero-
sion, improving water and soil
quality and providing yields of
fruit, tea, coffee, oil, fodder and
medicinal products in addition to
their usual harvest.
Agro forestry is one of the most
widely used adaptation strategies.
It is an integrated approach of
using the interactive benefits from
combining trees and shrubs with
crops and/or livestock. It combines
agricultural and forestry technolo-
gies to create more diverse, pro-
ductive, profitable, healthy, and
sustainable land-use systems. A
narrow definition of agro forestry
is "trees on farms.
Plants under trees can still grow
well even though they get less
light. By having more than one
level of vegetation, it is possible to
get more photosynthesis than with
a single layer. Agro forestry has a
lot in common with intercropping.
Both have two or more plant
species (such as nitrogen fixing –
plants) in close interaction both
provide multiple outputs, as a con-
sequence, higher overall yields
and, because a single application or
input is shared, costs are reduced.
Beyond these, there are gains
specific to agro forestry.
Agro forestry systems can be ad-
vantageous over conventional agri-
cultural, and forest production
They can offer increased produc-
tivity, economic benefits, and more
diversity in the ecological goods
and services provided.
Biodiversity in agro forestry sys-
tems is typically higher than in
conventional agricultural systems.
With two or more interacting
plant species in a given land area, it
creates a more complex habitat that
can support a wider variety of
birds, insects, and other animals.
Depending upon the application,
potential impacts of agro forestry
can include:
• Reducing poverty through in-
creased production of wood and
other tree products for home con-
sumption and sale
• Contributing to food security by
restoring the soil fertility for food
• Cleaner water through reduced
nutrient and soil runoff
• Countering global warming and
the risk of hunger by increasing the
number of drought-resistant trees
and the subsequent production of
• Reducing deforestation and pres-
sure on woodlands by providing
farm-grown fuel wood
• Reducing or eliminating the need
for toxic chemicals
• Through more diverse farm out-
puts, improved human nutrition in
situations where people have lim-
ited access to mainstream medi-
cines, providing growing space for
medicinal plants
Agro forestry practices may also
realize a number of other associ-
ated environmental goals, such as:
• Carbon sequestration
• Odour, dust, and noise reduction
• Green space and visual aesthetics
• Enhancement or maintenance of
wildlife habitat
Agro forestry is an opportunity
for farmers to protect their crops
and improve their yields while con-
tributing to the protection and care
of the environment.
If you are interested incorporat-
ing agro forestry techniques on
your farm, contact the Forestry De-
partment for technical information.
Agro Forestry-balancing
Farms and Forests
s research continues to examine ways to combat the effects of
climate change, agro forestry is emerging as one of the methods
being used by farmers to reduce its impact on their crops.
Forestry Department
173 Constant Spring Road,
Kingston 8
• Kelp Plus Fish Emulsion • Fertilizer
For more info and to order your products: Tel: 390-5382; 328-0027 or
he Veterinary Services
Division of the Ministry
of Agriculture and Fish-
eries has been informed by the
Management of Hi-Pro Feed
Mills that they have issued a re-
call of the following batches of
horse feed.
1) Feed Type: 9726-2 STABLE
of Manufacture: April 24, 2013;
Batch No 425
2) Feed Type: 9726-2 STA-
BLE CHOICE; Date of Manu-
facture: May 6, 2013; Batch No
Individuals who may have pur-
chased any of the abovemen-
tioned feed should immediately
stop using the feed and to make
contact with their feed supplier.
PESTICIDE TALK: (l-r) Pat Rose , T. Geddes Grant, Norman
Grant, JAS president and Omer Thomas, agriculturalist at the re-
cent St Mary Agri Expo held in Annotto Bay.
Eric Williams, Hi Pro Feeds technical sales representative (4th l), Donald Robinson, RADA Man-
chester manager 5th l) along with other technical staff at the Hi Pro booth at the recent St Mary Agri
Expo held in Annotto Bay.
Hi-Pro Feed Mills issues
recall of horse feed
The government of Jamaica is to make an an-
nouncement soon regarding the divestment of the
Wallenford Coffee Factory. In his contribution to the
Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Wednesday, Roger
Clarke, Minister of Agriculture, said the government
was close to concluding an agreement with a private
entity for the divestment.
“The divestment of Wallenford is a critical part of
government’s strategy to bring new investments, ad-
ditional working capital and market diversification.
We are at the cusp of concluding an agreement with
a private sector entity for the divestment of Wallen-
ford. An announcement will be made in short order,”
said Mr. Clarke.
He said the coffee sector suffered a setback last
year with the outbreak of the leaf rust disease and
Hurricane Sandy which resulted in a decline in pro-
Wallenford Coffee
Factory to be divested
Book your advert
today.. 923-7471
in dogs
eptospirosis is a disease caused by
spiral shaped bacteria called lep-
tospires. It occurs worldwide and
can affect humans as well as many wild
and domestic animals, including dogs and
cats, although infection in cats is rare).
The bacteria are spread through the urine
of infected animals, which can get into
water or soil and can survive there for
weeks to months.
Humans and animals can become in-
fected through contact with this contami-
nated urine. The bacteria can enter the body
through skin, eyes, nose, or mouth, espe-
cially if the skin is broken from a cut or
scratch. Drinking contaminated water can
also cause infection.
If your pet has become infected, it most
likely came into contact with rat urine.
Your pet may have been drinking, or walk-
ing through contaminated water.
The clinical signs of leptospirosis vary
and are nonspecific. Sometimes pets do not
have any symptoms. Common clinical
signs reported in dogs include fever, vom-
iting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, refusal to
eat, severe weakness and depression, stiff-
ness, or severe muscle pain. Generally
younger animals are more seriously af-
fected than older animals.
If you suspect your pet is infected, get
help immediately. The JSPCA can perform
tests to detect the presence of leptospirosis
in your pet, and will prescribe antibiotics.
The earlier treatment is begun the better
the chances of full and rapid recovery, and
any organ damage may be less severe.
General Considerations
Consult your vet when your pet has an
open wound. NEVER use Jeyes fluid or
other disinfectants on a dog’s fur. These
are chemicals that burn like acid, and can
cause severe injury and intense pain.
On the road an animal is a traffic hazard,
and your pet may be injured by a vehicle.
Make sure you keep him on your property.
Train your pet with firmness and gentle-
ness, and you will have a loyal protector.
Use praise and rewards, not punishments,
as your training tools, and never beat or
stone an animal, whether yours or anyone
else’s. Cruelty is not only morally wrong,
it is against the law, and carries penalties!
Pet Care
uch is being written, in this
newspaper and elsewhere, con-
cerning the loss-making Ja-
maican pig/pork industry.
One such story “Pork Pitfall: Re-
searchers lament plunging pork price,” not
only captured the true state of the livestock
sub-sector but also cited yet another study
conducted on the industry.
A number of such studies have be previ-
ously conducted still the industry remains
in near disastrous predicament.
The article highlighted the “high price of
feed, high mortality rate among pre-wean-
ers, and the inadequate conversion of pork
into differentiated products.”
These are also among the major chal-
lenges of the Jamaican agricultural sector.
An evaluation of the industry was done
10 years ago which proposed an adoptable,
sustainable development plan for pig farm-
ing that would, by a disciplined approach,
address the perennial problems facing the
Prepared in October 2003 by the late Dr.
Aston S. Wood and a team knowledgeable
of pig production, the Development Plan
proposed an integrated approach to pig
management that would not only bring
order to the sector but also position the in-
dustry toward sustained profitability.
Solutions presented in the FAO spon-
sored document, “Development Plan for
an Integrated Pig/Pork Industry for the
Ministry of Agriculture (2003),” among
other points, suggests, the registration of
pig growers and the rationalization of a re-
liable sow herd population.
The establishment of a standardized hus-
bandry practice, carcass grading and qual-
ity standard.
Growers would be grouped into breed-
ers, multipliers and finishing to facilitate
the proposed three-breed, three-way cross
breeding program.
Crossbreed (F1) sows show good moth-
ering ability and Three-way (F2) crossed
finishing pigs grow faster, reach market
weight sooner (higher daily gain), exhibit
superior feed conversion (less feed) and
improvement in lean meat quality.
Also, the Wood plan recognizes the in-
creasingly high cost of commercial feeds
(70% of production cost) and suggests the
development of better economic produc-
tion rations either from conventional or
non conventional resources.
Improveing the genetics of national
breeding stock and the establishment of a
standard breeding program in tandem with
proper herd management is the road to fix-
ing the problem of high piglet/weaner mor-
tality, low daily gain and poor feed
conversion of finisher pigs.
Stakeholders, including the Ministry of
Agriculture, need to study the Aston Wood
recommendations with a view to adapting
the stepwise procedures to methodically
improve productive performance and ,con-
sequently, the fortune of pig growers.
A manual has already been developed
and published as a training guide into farm
management and record keeping, no need
for the Jamaica Pig Farmers Association
(JPFA) to reinvent the wheel.
Claude Wilson is the author of the booklets
Husbandry Tips for Caribbean Pig Farms and
Guide To Feeding & Management of Pigs
Look Out
For 2013
Book your
advert to
Fixing the problems of
Jamaican pig industry
1. Be present at farrowing.
2. Assist the sow only if it becomes neces-
3. Provide warmth of 27-32°C (80-90°F)
and ensure that piglets get the first “milk” of
the sow (colostrum).
4. Clip the needle teeth, cut navel cord and
swab with a mild antiseptic (iodine). Ad-
minister 1cc of an iron supplement as the
piglets are usually born with low levels of
iron. Pigs should be weighing 1.4 kg (3 lbs)
at birth.
5. Mark the piglets according to the farm’s
system of identification.
6. Castrate males that will not be used in the
breeding programme at 14-21 days old.
7. Introduce a small quantity of Hi-Pro Pig
Starter as a creep feed at 14days old. Pig
should weigh 5.0 kg (11 lbs) at this stage.
8. Wean at 6 weeks. Target weight – 9.0 kg
(20 lbs)
9. Vaccinate against Swine Erysipelas at 7
General tips
The infection pressure or the level of dis-
ease-causing organisms is relatively
high in the environment of a pig farm. Good
management will reduce both
the infectious and non-infectious agents of
In this case, the farmer should:
1. Feed regularly with good quality, well-
balanced Hi-Pro Feed.
2. Provide an adequate supply of cool, clean
drinking water.
3. Maintain proper sanitation in the environ-
ment of the pig house.
4. Reduce factors that cause stress.
5. Prevent overcrowding.
6. Reduce draftiness while providing good
air circulation within the pighouse.
Management of piglets
from birth to weaning
Jamaican Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animal
In celebration of Farmers' Montb
acknowledges its Top 50 Farmers and commends tbeir efforts towards
tbe growtb and development of tbe Coffee Industry.
Ainsley Edwards
Alton Tbomas
Anpbelutus Platt
Antbur Enterprise
Basil Edwards
Belvin Burgess
Cauley Bell
Clive Cbance
Colin Burton
C.D. Nelson
Daniel Bell
Derrick Heaven
Donald Salmon
Donna Mereditb
Earl Lindsay
Edward Martin
Egbert Douglas
Eric Harrison
Evon Redman
Carfield Bentley
Casecia Bull
Clasford Brown
Cwendolyn )obnson
Hartbam Foster
Hopeton Pessoa
Howard Paulwell
)ames Rawle
)oan Purville
Kingsley Dixon
Kingsley Robinson
Kurt McLaren
Leslie Lafayette
Lilletb Pbipps-Crant
Livingston Crosdale
Louis Cbung
Usmond Sbaw
Patrick McLarty
Pleasing Prospect Farm
Ramone Royes
Randall Wbitton
Ricaldo Halliburton
Rupert Miller
Selvin Davids
Sbane Brown
Sonia Dailey
Sybil Morrison
Vincent Scott
Warren Francis
Wayne Molloy
Wycliffe Mitcbell