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VOL. 24 NO. 3 • AUGUST 2013 FREE COPY
(l-r) Champion farmer, Leslie Murray; Farm Queen 2012 Amelia Leveridge and Young Champion, Nicholas Powell pose with their trophies at Denbigh Show 2012.
By Patrick Maitland Editor-The Agriculturalist ore than a decade after boasting a total of 80,215 registered members, the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Jamaica’s oldest farmers’ organization, is reporting a 92% decline in its membership. The present membership is only 6,323 members. According to the Society’s Annual Report for the period of April 2012 to March 31, 2013, all the parishes across the island have seen membership plummeted in the hundreds. Clarendon has experienced the sharpest decline in membership with a mere 317 members compared with 15,240 in 2000.
JAS Members Declined by 92%
Denbigh feature pages 9-14 St. Mary has seen a significant loss of 9,637 to 382 members. St Catherine followed with 598 from 7,584, St. Ann 493 of 6,855, St Elizabeth 377 of 6,550, Manchester 412 of 6,122, St Thomas 334 of 5304, Trelawny 347 of 4802, Portland 919 of 4,131, Westmoreland 624 of 4,040, St. Andrew 759 of 3,847, St. James 295 of 3550 and Hanover with 466 of 2,554 members. The JAS also suffered losses in its affiliated branch network that now stands at 245 compared to 981 in 2000. Clarendon (10), St. James (11), St Mary (12) and St. Thomas (13) recorded major decline during the period.
he organisers of the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show are looking forward to another successful event, schedule for August 4-6, 2013 at the Denbigh Showgrounds, Clarendon. Chairman of the show’s organising committee and president, Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Grant Grant said the JAS is seeking to diversify the Denbigh show, which started some 61 years ago. This 61st staging will live up expectations, as the tourism, youth, health and organic villages will be in operation. The JAS will be seeking to attract at least 70,000 patrons to the annual agricultural showcase.
Denbigh Show ‘13
Kitson Town P.A. St. Catherine, Jamaica (876) 610-7283
However, Christopher Emanuel, JAS CEO explains the “declining membership” is a result of management policy to list only “dues paying members” as part of the official membership. Mr Emanuel further notes that despite the policy, several thousands nonmember/farmers continue to benefit and participate in various JAS-sponsored activities. “A large percent of these people are unable to pay the minimal dues of $200 per year and we will continue to service them,” he adds. Continued on page 4
Christopher Emanuel, JAS CEO
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he despicable practice of robbing and stealing of farm produce or praedial larceny has been a major setback for Jamaican farmers for several decades. These criminal activities have been featured and listed in several crime reports and studies on Jamaican agriculture. Hundreds of farmers died during the process, while others sustain serious bodily injuries as another man reap the sweat of their labour. Praedial larceny appears to be a major conspiracy or cover-up to the extend that the government economists are always underestimating the direct and indirect losses to farmers. For many years the losses have been estimated at $4-5 billion annually. How ridiculous? In our estimation the losses is well over $10 billion annually. However, we all agree that farm theft is a major deterrent to the development of the agricultural sector. Several solutions have been put forward to solve the problem, but nothing seems to work. It’s like more talks and promises from our political leaders. The Jamaican farmers are frustrated and are giving up on the Government’s ability
Time to fix the praedial larceny problem
AUGUST 2013 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • 3
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 email@example.com. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all articles will be published.
and willingness to protect them from the criminals who raid their properties. As Jamaica’s longest serving Minister of Agriculture for over ten years, Roger Clarke is still not able to find a solution. He is correct however in stating that “praedial larceny should be treated like any other major crimes with a specialized police squad assigned to deal with the issues." Praedial larceny is worst than scamming as far as the farmers of this country are concerned and we cannot continue to ignore these practices. We all know that it is a national crime and it discourages people from ever considering going into the agriculture sector.
Publisher -The Agriculturalist firstname.lastname@example.org
We need to stop talking about the problems and seek positive solutions if we are serious about the welfare of our farmers. We are recommending the following approaches: • The Government must put in place new legislation to strengthened existing laws to discourage the thieves. This means longer prison term and heavier fines for offenders. • The Jamaica Constabulary Force should establish the “Anti-Praedial Larceny Unit’ under the command of an assistant commissioner of police. • Create an advisory committee comprising of farmers and other stakeholders to
provide guidance to the police in every parish and areas most affected. • All higglers and traders of farm produce must be registered with the ‘AntiPraedial Larceny Unit’ and provide proof of purchases. • The farmers should not be forced to purchase the “JAS receipt book” any receipt book should be fine. • Keep a reliable record of praedial larceny activities and profile the criminals in the media and in the local communities as in several cases, the criminals are assisted by neighbours and other people in the community. We agree with Minister Clarke that the problem cannot be left to the Ministry of Agriculture alone as it is a matter that requires strong police intervention and enforcement of the laws. In fact, praedial larceny is no different from tourism harassment, lottery scam or shop breaking which are all criminal activities that the police cover everyday. As a society we need to show more respect for the farmers by putting an end to praedial larceny.
Dear Editor, Today I heard Minister of Agriculture Roger Clark saying that he would try to ensure that "foods" containing Genetically Modified components be labeled as such. A few minutes of internet research shows the dangers of eating "foods" with GM components, the various diseases which are linked with them, and the promises which do not materialize in practice.
The dangers of eating "foods" with GM components!
You will quickly find the long list of Monsanto executives who shuffle back and forth between government boards and Monsanto positions, thus ensuring their products are approved. Clark should interview the Haitian farmers who burned Monsanto seeds in public and find out why they refused them. Monsanto has been trying to eliminate natural seeds and forcing everyone worldwide to buy their GM seeds every year! He should talk to the dozens of widows in India whose husbands chose SUICIDE when they could not repay their loans, all due to GM seeds. Roger should find out why Europeans rejected GM "foods" and do want them on their shelves. He needs to find out how GM plants contaminate natural species and destroy di-
Continued from page 1 The Society has been placing great emphasis on increasing membership and as a result, there was a 52% increase in branch membership fees during the year compared with the previous year. “Furthermore the Society in an effort to continue this upward growth will seek to increase contact with farmers, improve services, reactivating dormant branches and introduce community base economic projects,” the CEO says. “The JAS is currently on a massive membership drive to return the membership to its former days,” Emanuel promises.
JAS Members Declined by 92%
As a statutory body under the Ministry of Agriculture, the Jamaica Agricultural Society received $83.6 million or 82% of its income as government subvention during the 2012/2013 fiscal year, but there are also “bureaucratic obstacles that prevented us from applying more stringent managing practices including the hiring and firing of staff,” Mr. Emanuel adds, “our aim is to restructure the JAS into a modern and efficient organization to meet the needs of today’s farmers.” It was a very good financial year for the JAS. The total income increased by 24.3 % resulting in a surplus/profit of $5.24million. Significant contributions from membership and affiliations fees of $1.08 and $6.12million, respectively were among the contribution factors to the positive financial growth. The Jamaica Agricultural Society was established in 1895
versity, leading to serious problems. Jamaica should prove its independence from the American empire by banning all GM seeds and "foods" from entering Jamaica. It is felt by many that Haiti and Jamaica are two puppet governments controlled from Washington, so we have to disprove that notion now. Michael Maragh <email@example.com>
TROPICAL FARMERS’ ALMANAC 2014
with the aim of representing the interests of farmers by offering a plethora of services to its’ members to enhance their levels of productivity and ultimately facilitate the overall development of the agricultural sector.
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KINGSTON: griculture and Fisheries Minister, Roger Clarke, is advocating for farmers to set an example by lending greater support to locally produced goods. Addressing the farmers at the 118th Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) at the Denbigh Show Grounds, Clarendon on Wednesday (July 10) the minister stated that there was a real need to support the use of local produce. He encouraged the farmers to lead by example by using more locally grown ground provisions in their own diets rather than continuing the heavy dependence on imported rice, which is one of the foods responsible for the country’s exorbitant food importation bill. He told the JAS delegates that every farmer in Jamaica should have some amount of local food crops growing in their own backyard and stressed the importance of tree planting, stating that farmers should plant and enjoy the produce of their personally grown fruit trees. He indicated that in terms of fruit trees, plans were in the making to launch a major fruit tree planting pro-
Clarke Asks Farmers to Lead by Example in Eat Jamaican Campaign
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ne of four persons detained a week ago in connection with a case of praedial larceny in St. Elizabeth has pleaded guilty. Donwayne Wright, 24, Rodge Pen in the parish, entered the plea when he faced the Black River Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. Mr. Wright was taken into custody on July 17 after stolen cows were found in a truck. Prosecutors withdrew the charges against the other three men one of whom was hired to drive the vehicle. The court was
Man pleads guilty to theft of cows
gramme, especially in light of the fact that an American importer had expressed willingness to import mangoes from Jamaica. In keeping with the country’s Food Security Programme, the minister said, further that he was determined to implement the Food and Nutrition Policy aimed at enhancing the access of Jamaicans to available supplies and reasonably priced nutritious foods. Part of the Food and Nutrition Policy, he said, seeks to ensure that Government-run institutions, such as schools, hospitals and even the prisons use a substantial amount of local foods. The School Feeding Programme, which is to be expanded this year, also aims to supply a greater amount of local fruit juices to schools. The goal is to begin with 135,000 students and to seek to eradicate the heavy reliance on bag juices which have little or no nutritional value. Citing the success of Irish potatoes, the vast majority of which is now grown locally, Minister Clarke urged the farmers to adapt to new markets and so aim to satisfy local demand for some produce now currently being exported.
PROJECT FOCUS Making available low cost loans and grants to farmers through the DBJ/PC Bank network for working capital support. LOAN COMPONENT Beef and dairy farmers have benefited from loans totaling $64 M for pasture development; purchasing breeding stock; and upgrading farm equipment.
he Dairy Sector Revitalization Programme has given critical support to the industry since its launch in 2008.
Revitalization of the Dairy Sector
Kingston: he Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association is concerned concern that meat for local consumption not subject to the strict assessment carried out on meat that is exported. “Most as our meat comes from the larger producers but it is a concern that we need to look at , one that involved education, that involves interacting the farmers, the backyard
Veterinarians concerned about assessment of locally consumed
told that the police were on an operation in Malvern in the parish when the truck transporting the four men and five cows was stopped. The men were unable to give an account of how the cows came to be in their possession. The animals were later identified as those stolen from a farmer and the men arrested. Mr Wright will be sentenced on August 14. In recent weeks several farmers in St Elizabeth have been losing cattle and other animals to praedial thieves.
CAPACITY BUILDING COMPONENT Assistance provided through farmers’ organizations include: The re-introduction of a National Milk Recording Programme in collaboration with the Jamaica Hope Cattle Breeders’ Society; Allocationof mastitis testing kits and computers to aid participating farmers in National Milk Recording Programme. GRANT SUPPORT PROGRAMME Assist in building local capacity in Embryo Transfer Technique; Capacity building support to BDPAJ in the development of an operational plan for the management of cluster farms and engagement of pre-project consultancy; Initiation of a collaborative research project with UWI, St Augustine to develop an island-wide nutritional profile of Jamaica pastures, upgrade the Forage Analytical Laboratory at Bodles; and Approval of grants funding to enable restoration of milk collection facility at Rhymesfield Cooperative. Support the establishment of a milk testing reference laboratory at the Bodles Research Station.
amaica is to get further help from overseas in battling two diseases which have been affecting the agriculture sector. Jose DaSilva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who is on a visit to the island, said the Brazilian Research facility – EMBRAPA, will be assisting in efforts to combat the coffee leaf rust and citrus greening diseases. Mr. DaSilva made the disclosure during a meeting on Monday with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
Jamaica to get help in fighting coffee and citrus diseases
people and recognizing that (the meat) is affecting the food chain and affecting parts of the population,” said Dr. Sarah Eyle, secretary of t he Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association. Members from the association were guests at a recent RJR Group News Forum. The Association added that knowledge and interface is required as well as a public/private partnerships.
The government has been battling the dreaded Coffee Leaf Rust disease, which has been a major headache for coffee farmers while several nurseries have been hit hard by the citrus greening disease. Monday’s meeting also reviewed the FAO’s Programme of Cooperation with Jamaica and technical assistance to help combat the beet army worm affecting vegetable farmers, particularly in St. Elizabeth.
Tel: (876) 618-7107 • Fax (876)977-9230 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JAMAICA DAIRY DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
For further information contract:
Hope Gardens, Kingston 6
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government ministerial party from the Commonwealth of the Bahamas visited the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, to hold collaborative talks with regard to leveraging the expertise at the institution to assist with the development of their own Agriculture College. Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Ambassador Godfrey Eneas reported that the result of his fact finding mission to the college in April was favourable to his Prime Minister and the reason for his return to deepen talks, this time with accompanying Ministers. “We are planning on starting the college to offer Certificates, Diplomas and Associate Degrees and so the Bahamas will be leaning on the CASE to assist us to reach where they are going,” stated Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, Bahamas Education, Science and Technology Minister. He added that the College of the Ba-
Bahamas seeks CASE expertise to develop Agriculture College
levy of US$1 has been imposed on each pound of conch exported during the 2013 conch season. The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, July 23, approved the Conch (Export Levy) (Rate of Levy) Order Resolution, 2013, to facilitate the move. The Resolution was brought by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Roger Clarke. The law requires that for each conch season, the rate prescribed by the Minister must be subject to affirmative reso-
US$1 Per Pound Levy on Exported Conch
hamas is on the cusp of moving to university status, and so consideration for this agriculture training college, is for it to be a semi-autonomous entity within the university. The Minister of Agriculture, V. Alfred Gray, went on to highlight the fact that their island of Andros, which is a bit larger than Jamaica and mostly rural in nature, is earmarked for cited the institute. The delegation studied the CASE curriculum and toured the campus with Rev’d Dr. Mary A. Nichols, JP, CASE President and her leadership team; which fostered robust discussion and guidance for the Bahamian Party. Ideas about Aquaponics and Mariculture, which the Bahamians intend to be major features of their College programme offering, were discussed. A Memorandum of Understanding is to be established in short order, where CASE will be seen as the collaborative institution in guiding the Bahamas Agricultural College into existence. lution in the House of Representatives. The Conch (Export Levy) Act imposes a duty on the export of conch, to facilitate the sustainable management and development of the fisheries sector. The Act, which was passed in 2009, is used in part to offset the cost of implementing programmes for monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement in relation to Jamaica’s limited conch resources.
Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) CEO, Lenworth Fulton (l) and the Mona School of Business and Management (MSB), Director Maurice McNaughton during a formal engagement signing between RADA and MSB recently at RADA offices, Hope Garden, St Andrew. The partnership is part of a broader regional initiative under the code for the Caribbean, Open Data in Agriculture Initiative. Under this agreement referred to as the Fellowship programme, three MSB interns will undergo internship at RADA for 6 months.
SIGNING OF FELLOWSHIP PROGRA MME:
he Minister of Agriculture has intervened in a dispute involving farmers from the Plantain Garden River Agro Park in the eastern parish of St Thomas, the Fred Jones Estate and the Sugar Transformation Unit, (STU). On Wednesday, Roger Clarke, Agriculture Minister, met with a group of the farmers who voiced concern that more than 100 acres of lands on which they farm was reportedly taken over by the STU and Fred Jones Estate.
Clarke intervenes in land dispute
Clarke assured the farmers that he will be meeting in another week with the STU. He added t hat he will seek additional lands from the Fred Jones Estate, which occupies government lands in the area. On May 29, the farmers staged a demonstration in which they claimed that the disputed lands were part of the proposed Agro Park . At that time they also called on the Agriculture Minister to intervene.
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By Judith A. Hunter JIS Reporter he Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show, the largest event of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, is expected to attract over 80,000 patrons this year. The show, which takes place from August 4 to 6 at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon, under the theme: ‘Grow What You Eat…Eat What You Grow’, is known for its display of the very best in local livestock, agricultural, horticultural and food exhibits from all parishes. Jamaicans are being promised some special treatsfor this year’s staging, which has as its subtheme: ‘Food Security…our Gateway to Prosperity’. President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant, said some new features have been added to the usual fare of displays, exhibits and competitions. Among them is a Global Trade Exchange, which takes place on Monday, August 5. “This Trade Exchange will be aimed at providing our main stakeholders, sponsors, partners and affiliated
Denbigh Show 2013 to Attract Thousands
with school supplies. Senator Grant said that a huge overseas contingent is expected. Delegates from Canada, the United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, The Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, will be in attendance. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, will participate in the event’s opening ceremony on Sunday (August 4), while the Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, will attend the show on August 5 (Monday). Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is scheduled to attend on the final day, Tuesday, August 6. The main objectives of the Denbigh Show are to promote the agricultural sector; display the best foods produced in Jamaica by parish and highlight the importance of agriculture to the export sector and the national economy. While showcasing the latest developments in agricultural technology, the Denbigh Show will also demonstrate linkages with other critical sectors of the econ-
omy such as science and technology, research and development, tourism, entertainment and finance. Gates will open daily at 8:00 a.m. and admission is $700 for adults and $300 for children.
organisations with the opportunity to interact, establish contacts, and be better educated on markets/produce locally, regionally and internationally. It will also seek to create linkages and connect buyers and sellers to create new business partnerships through structured networking and matchmaking. Participants will be drawn from the local, regional and international
President, Jamaica Agricultural Society, Norman Grant, displays a flyer listing the various activities for Denbigh 2013. Senator Grant was a guest at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held on Wednesday, July 24, at the agency’s head office on Half-Way-Tree Road.
sphere,” Grant explained. The JAS President said he is “very excited” about the “new and different” offerings, which also include: a National Woman Champion Farmer competition; a Denbigh Auction, Denbigh Motor Show, Commercial Exhibits competition and Digicel’s Back-toSchool Fair targeting 10,000 students, who will be presented
The Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show is a hallmark event that has been embedded in the unique culture and the broad fabrics of the Jamaican people from as early as 1953 to present. Situated on twenty nine hectares of picturesque lands at May Pen, Clarendon, the Denbigh Show comes to life for three days of pulsating activities offering wholesome entertainment to over sixty thousand patrons that have been attending the event on an annual basis. Spirits have been lifted and enthusiasm built for the unforgettable experience of the grand Exposition that has been renowned for promoting the farmers livelihood, i.e. the finest quality agricultural produce from varied commodity groups, its value added products, industrial and technological equipment from main stakeholders affiliated within the agricultural sector.
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ixty one years since its first staging in 1952, the Denbigh Agriculture Show which celebrates the finest contribution of our farmers to national development, remains the most eagerly anticipated event on the JAS calendar. The outstanding exhibitions of livestock, agriculture, horticulture, craft and industrial goods from all fourteen parishes receive rave reviews annually from hundreds of Jamaicans, as well from as visitors to our shores, who include representatives of other Caribbean governments and of international agencies. Each year the Denbigh Agricultural Show facilitates opportunities for networking and establishing business relations, as well as for updating information on farming and agro-processing techniques, appropriate technology and energy solutions, among others. This process reaffirms agriculture as a significant business venture in the context of the long term mission for the development of a modern, efficient and internationally competitive agriculture sector in Jamaica. Since 1895 the Jamaica Agricultural Society has been at the forefront of the promotion of agriculture, reinforcing its importance to the country’s economy. This year’s Denbigh Show coincides with the tenth anniversary of the ‘Eat Jamaican Campaign’ and its patriotic and pragmatic message to Jamaicans to “Grow what we eat…eat what we grow.” The campaign is a catalyst for food security, rural employment and income-generating opportunities and the reduction of import bills. It fosters productive linkages with other sectors of the economy, contributing thus to national development. I hope that increasingly the message will be internalized by all Jamaicans. May you all enjoy an exciting and successful Denbigh Agriculture Show! Patrick Allen Governor General
Celebrating the finest of farmers’ contribution
CHMAPION TROPHY: (l-r) JAS president Norman Grant; Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke and Sales and Marketing Manager Hi-Pro Division, Jamaica Broiler Group, Oliver Thompson with the Hi-Pro’s chmapion livestock trophy which was won by the MInistry at Debigh 2013.
he decision of the 61st Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show to focus on the theme “Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow’’ must be regarded as an attempt to take this important decade long initiative to a new and higher level. It is clear, the development of Jamaica's agricultural sector must become the tool to help combat the effects of the economic challenges facing the country. Agriculture, as we have seen in some of the biggest economies and developed societies is a driving force for economic prosperity and food security and the same needs to be the situation for us in Jamaica. Any prospect of coming to grips with the nation’s hefty US$1 billion dollar food import bill will only materialize if we implement pragmatic measures to increase local agricultural production. And, with global food prices continuing to rise there is a real threat of further strain on our ability to continue food imports at
Stimulating local food production- creating opportunity!
such levels. The signs are clear, buying and eating what we grow will go a long way in stimulating local production and creating the opportunity for us to become less reliant on imported foods. One of the areas in which Government is playing its part to support the eat Jamaican campaign is in our decision to set up nine agro parks over the next three years. These agro parks will increase agricultural output, reduce the national food import bill and stimulate food exports while at the same time create direct employment for approximately 1,500 persons. It is an intervention aimed at sustainable agriculture and focus will be placed on the production of foods such as onion, Irish potato, yam and ginger. The success however of this initiative lies with every Jamaican. If there is no demand for these foods, the project cannot enjoy the levels of success anticipated. By consuming more of what is grown locally, not only are we helping to
create sustainable markets to sell our produce, but also assisting hundreds of farmers and vendors in being gainfully employed. With all their uphill struggles, I record my gratitude to the farmers of this country, the Agriculture Ministry, the Jamaica Agricultural Society and its associations for the leadership and development of this vital sector. I commend The Agriculturalist for playing its part by providing our farmers with the information and coverage of international and local agricultural news, trade and market information and helping the education of the nation’s farmers. We have made some gains, and I urge the farming industry to use the 2013 Denbigh Show and all other Agricultural Shows to signal to the country and the world that we are serious about moving this sector and our country forward. Portia Simpson Miller Prime Minister
AUGUST 2013 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • 11
he Denbigh Agricultural Show, hosted annually by the Jamaica Agriculture Society is a calendar activity eagerly anticipated by every household in Jamaica. The show continues to delight families annually and gives our farmers an opportunity to showcase the very hard work they have done. This year's theme, "Grow what you eat, Eat what you grow" could not have been more relevant. With the country's desperate need to reduce foreign exchange expenditure, there must be further shifting from imports of produce locally grown, furthering that practice which was actively pursued by the previous administration. With lifestyle related illnesses placing an unprecedented burden on health care, it is crucial that our healthy organic produce become reintegrated as much as possible into our local consumption and be positioned as an internationally marketable brand in an effort to also boost
Denbigh Show continues to delight our families
our foreign exchange earnings. We have been truly blessed with agriculturalists who have spent the last century onwards lobbying for, encouraging our island to maintain first world practices and standards in agriculture. The members of the Jamaica Agriculture Society have worked assiduously over the years, in tandem with some keen farmers of our country who have stayed focused on the task of building networks and maintaining international best practices in local farming. The JAS has an urgent need frontally face the challenges to our local farmers. It is crucial to our country's survival and future that at a minimum, our capacity to fulfil the local household and commercial demand is maximized, and with a worsening economy, this holds true for consistent and high quality agricultural production for export. Andrew M Holness Leader of the Opposition
Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke (l) raps with Opposition Leader Andrew Holness at Denbigh 2012.
he Denbigh Agricultural & Industrial Food Show is part of the great tradition of Jamaican institutions. This event, significantly, forms part of our national celebrations of Emancipation and Independence and provides us with an annual opportunity to celebrate our agricultural legacy even as we recognize the stalwarts and the achievements of the sector. As on other occasions, the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show 2013 also provides us with yet another opportunity to sound the clarion call for all Jamaicans to “grow what we eat, and eat what we grow”. This call can never be repeated too often and, indeed, is even more critical given the tight fiscal space in which the country must operate and against the background of the country’s unsustainable food import bill. In spite of the many challenges we face, we must also embrace the glorious opportunity
An opportunity to celebrate agricultural legacy
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that agriculture offers us to propel and grow the economy. We are all required to do our part through a national effort to grow agriculture, increase exports, create jobs and by consuming produce or goods manufactured right here in Jamaica. We need all hands on deck to ensure that we grow agriculture, to grow Jamaica as we pursue sustainable growth and development in order to secure greater well-being for this generation and generations to come. On this the 61st Anniversary of the Denbigh Agricultural Show, I salute the farmers of our country! On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, I congratulate the JAS and all the organizers and participants in the show. Let us use this specially extended period to celebrate as we renew our commitment and drive to “grow what we eat, and eat what we grow”! Roger Clarke, Agriculture Minister
RADA backyard garden team at the Denbigh Show 2012 in photo (l-r) Dwayne Smith - Agricultural Extension Officer, RADA St. Catherine, Shernette Spencer, Agricultural Extension Officer, formerly of RADA St. Andrew, Kavil Howard, Agricultural Extension Officer, RADA Portland and Bridgette Williams, Training Manager.
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reetings, “wen dankey smell corn im’ gallop.” In this century like all the past centuries we have to appreciate agriculture and its rapid growth and improvements, especially in technology. “waa nuh kill yuh fatten” and the acceptance and embracing of the new advancements to the agriculture sector can only mean great things for our country. The proverbs “Di olda di moon di brighta it shine” and “new broom sweep clean” can come together and make “ the old moon shine bright so that the new broom can see where to sweep clean” as both the old, young, young at heart and the experienced need to work together to build a better Jamaica, agriculturally, such as stemming pradial larceny, decreasing the rate of agricultural imports to our country, foster more exports as well as uplifting the keen aspects of agriculture. My reign as National Farm Queen
The Queen Speaks About Agriculture
2012-2013 has increased my knowledge of agriculture while allowing me the privilege to sit at the head of tables in meeting that often included avid discussions in which I was honored to give my opin-
By Amelia Leveridge National Queen 2012
ion on topics I was passionate about including pradial larceny. As the agricultural sector is still plagued by pradial larceny, I charge each farmer in Jamaica as well as other agricultural stakeholders to continue the fight to eradicate it all together. The task as farm queen was never always about looking pretty and complimenting an outfit with the sash, as I had a heavy load to carry as youth agricultural ambassador for Jamaica, plus being a full time bachelor degree student, as I took full opportunity of the scholarship awarded to me from the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) for being crowned queen, but it is said that “wen man back strang dem ova load him crocus bag.” As we move through life “wan hand a wash d oda” let us remember to “grow what we eat and eat what we grow” Mek wi eat Jamaican nuh.”
National Farm Queen Competition S
ince history, women have played a pivotal role in agricultural activities from reaping to preparing the food produced. The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) continues to recognize the significant role our Jamaican women play in the development of agriculture in Jamaica. The National Farm Queen Competition is just one avenue through which the JAS encourages young women to be actively involved in the diverse field of agriculture. The competition has been an integral part of the Annual Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show, culminating in the selection of the National Farm Queen and her runners-up during the three day event. The goal of the competition is to enable the selection of a youth Ambassador for agriculture and Jamaica, locally and internationally and who will be an outstanding role model for other young women. The women vie for the national title in this year’s competition on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Denbigh Showground.
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Meet the 2013 Farm Queens
JUDEEN HUTCHINSON, 18 From St. Elizabeth and a student of the St. Elizabeth Technical High School. Her career goal is to become an agronomist.
LASHAUN LUGG, 19 A graduate and former student tutor of the Brown’s Town Community College, St. Ann. She as-
RENISHA SAMUELS, 18 Representing Hanover. An ASc student of CASE. Her philosophy is “To whom much is given much
YOULANDA MILLER, 18 She hails from Manchester. Student of the Hydel Group of Schools. Her goal is to become a Veterinarian.
MELISSA HENRY, 18 Represents St. Mary. Student of St. Mary High and “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little.”
SHAVELLE VASSELL, 22 From St. Catherine and graduate of CASE with Associate’s degree in agriculture and a Diploma in agricultural education.
KELIAH NEWTON, 25 From Kingston & St. Andrew Kingston & St. Andrew and a ginger farmer. She aspires to become an Attorney-at-law.
NORDIA LEWIN, 23 Clarendon Farm Queen) Representing Clarendon and a graduate of CASE. She holds a Diploma and an Associate’s Degree in General Agriculture.
DYAMOND GORDON, 18 Representing Trelawny and a student of the HEART Trust. Her career goal is to become a successful Entrepreneur.
CAREEN HANCHARD, 26 An agricultural extension office representing Portland. She is a graduate of CASE and holds an Associate’s Degree in General Agriculture.
MISS CINDY ASOBO, 19 Representing St James and a student of the Montego Bay Community College. She holds a degree in Natural Science.
TAHERA BROWN, 24 Representing St. Thomas. A past student of the St. Thomas Technical High School.
GOLDA GORDON, 18 Representing Westmoreland. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
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By Shelley Stonebrook enetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are any living thing that has had its genetic material altered in some way through human scientific interference. This does not refer to “selective breeding,” such as when certain crops are selectively bred by gardeners over time to withstand heat, for instance, or the process by which different dog breeds were developed over time. Instead, GMOs undergo a form of gene therapy under lab conditions whereby segments of DNA are spliced, rearranged or removed altogether. You may have been eating genetically modified food for years and not even know it. In the United States, much of the corn and soybeans produced (especially those to be fed to livestock or to provide filler material in processed foods at the supermarket) contain some portion of genetically modified material. From cereal and crackers to baking mixes, veggie burgers, and even milk and cheese, GMOs have infiltrated our grocery aisles largely without much study into their long-term health effects on our bodies. However, The Environmental Working Group conservatively estimates that each American consumes about 190 pounds of GM foods every year despite this lack of research. Choosy consumers are worried — and getting mad and organized — about these potential health impacts:
Potential Health Risks of Eating GMO Foods
The milk also has higher levels of bovine growth hormones in it, along with pus and sometimes antibiotics. GM crops have been linked to health problems as diverse as reproductive damage, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Concerned scientists have been outspoken about these risks. DNA is complex, and we have yet to understand all the potential complex interactions. The potential hazards are difficult to predict and identify immediately. Additionally, the United States regulatory system is set up to deal with problems occurring with GM
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foods only after they occur. But what if, instead, we invoked the precautionary principle, an international agreement that calls for intelligent caution when it comes to new science and technologies? Thankfully, you can protect yourself and your family by taking action against GMO foods. Choose organic foods wherever possible support farms that refuse to grow GMO foods, and pressure your lawmakers to force agriculture companies to label GMOs. The right to know is one we must be outspoken to protect.
tentially cause the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Several health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association, have spoken out about the need for the use of these antibiotics to be phased out of the process of making GM foods. Food Patriot Sam Spitz’ harrowing story provides a scary, precautionary warning of how antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” can affect your health.
ALLERGIES Perhaps the number one health concern over GM technology is its capacity to create new allergens in our food supply. Allergic reactions typically are brought on by proteins. Nearly every transfer of genetic material from one host into a new one results in the creation of novel proteins. Genetic engineering can increase the levels of a naturally occurring allergen already present in a food or insert allergenic properties into a food that did not previously contain them. It can also result in brand new allergens we’ve never before known.
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE Genetic engineers rely heavily on antibiotics to guide experiments. It works like this: Not all host cells will take up foreign genes, so engineers attach a trait for a particular type of antibiotic resistance to the gene they introduce into host cells. After they’ve introduced the gene into the cells, they douse all the cells with the antibiotic to see which ones survive. The surviving cells are antibiotic-resistant, and therefore engineers know they have taken up the foreign gene. Overuse of antibiotics can po-
UNPREDICTABILITY AND THE UNKNOWN Foreign genetic material in a host can cause other genetic material in that host to behave erratically. Genes can be suppressed or overexpressed, causing a wide variety of results. One consequence of overexpression, for example, can be cancer. Nutritional problems can also result from the transfer. In one example, cows that ate Roundup Ready soybeans produced milk with more fat in it. In another example, milk from cows injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone was found by a number of researchers, including those published in the journal Lancet, to have substantially higher levels of a compound known as insulin-like growth factor-1, which is linked to human breast, colon and prostate cancers.
PESTICIDE EXPOSURE The majority of GM crops in cultivation are engineered to contain a gene for pesticide resistance. Most are “Roundup Ready,” meaning they can be sprayed with Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide Roundup without being harmed. The idea is that if the crop itself is immune to Roundup, you can spray it to kill any weeds endangering the plant without worrying about harming your crop. Sound like a good thing? Only if increased human exposure to pesticides is a good thing. Glyphosate has been linked to numerous health problems in animal studies, among them birth defects, reproductive damage, cancer and endocrine disruption.
Providing fertilizer recommendations based on soil, tissue and water analyses Supplying PROVEN quality fertilizer with the latest technology for farmers Offering the best technology in micronutrients in our fertilizer blends Offering additives to enhance Nitrogen and Phosphorus uptake
Newport- Fersan (Jamaica) Ltd.
Lot 2A/ 2B Wherry Wharf Complex Newport East, Kgn. 15. Jamaica Tel.: (876) 967-5815, 967-5561, 948-9759, 948-9559 Fax: (876)948-3772 Email: email@example.com
Visit our booth at Denbigh
August 4 - 6
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ver the past thirteen years the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) office in Jamaica has been recognizing excellence among youth in agriculture. The Youth in Agribusiness Awards was established in 1999 by IICA in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, and employment among youth in the agribusiness sector. The award seeks to award young persons between the ages of 17 – 34 who are making outstanding contributions to local agriculture. The awardees included young persons involved in crop production, livestock production and agro-processing. The young men and women, who have received awards under this programme, have demonstrated good agricultural practices and an in-depth knowledge in their field, as well as marketing expertise and a business-savvy approach to running their agricultural enterprises. They also display a passion and commitment to the sector and are an inspiration to other young persons in their rural communities. In 2013, IICA is awarding three dynamic young agriculturalists: Fidel Whyte, Damion Dickens and Jowayne Robinson. The three farmers impressed the judging committee with their creativity, business competence, adherence to good business, and agricultural practices. First place winner, Fidel Whyte, for example, has built an office on his farm that has internet access and a sophisticated records management software to manage his farming enterprise. In 2012, the award went to Nicholas Powell for crop production. Powell farms a variety of vegetable and ground provision crops on ap-
IICA’s Youth in Agribusiness Awards
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lobal demand for nutmeg increased from n addition to unmet local market demand US$101 million in 2005 to US$119 milfrom agroprocessors, global trade. To fast– lion in 2009. Export demand for Jamaican nutGINGER he global market for ginger stands at some track the development of the local turmeric in- meg is strong. However, markets are untapped US$290 million, with the USA and Eng- dustry the Export Division is: producing due to supply-side constraints. To develop a land accounting for US$37 and US$ 18 million, planting material to supply the industry; mobi- local nutmeg industry the Division is providing respectively. The Ministry is building capacity lizing producers to increase output under verti- early-maturing, high-yielding planting material in the industry so as to increasyields, leading to cally integrated projects; coordinating and technical support to farmers. more competitive pricing. The Ministry’s Pro- productive projects to link turmeric suppliers duction and Productivity Improvement Pro- and buyers in the domestic market; Evaluating gramme is facilitating: commercial production local turmeric genetics to select high-yielding
amaican Pimento is of the highest quality in terms of its oil content, aromatic and flavor principles and market presentation. The Pimento industry consistently earns over US$5 million annually, from Pimento Berry, Pimento Leaf Oil, Pimento Berry oil and other highvalue products. The industry also creates an opportunity for a niche market in the manufacturing of products such as Jerk Seasoning, mixed spices and Pimento Liqueur.
Building a Sustainable Spice Industry
Nicholas and Bryan
Jowayne Robinson proximately 13 acres of land. Although 26 year-old Nicholas is a trained engineer, he describes himself as a farmer by birth. He started farming at eight years old with one square of land and has been in the business for the past 17 years. He now utilizes drip irrigation, hybrid seeds, biological pesticides and fungicides and mulching. He is a sales expert and readily grades his produce for different market segments and as such is always able to find markets for his produce. The other 2012 Awardee (for Livestock Production) – Bryan Colin Wright – is an integral partner in the operation of a large-scale cattle and pig enterprise. Bryan has contributed significantly to the modernization of the family-owned livestock business in a challenging climate, through intensive marketing to enhance product acceptance and catering to customer demands. Whyte, Powell and Wright are just a few examples of the over 25 Youth in Agribusiness Awardees, who have demonstrated that there is indeed a bright future for agriculture in Jamaica.
of disease–free ginger planting material from tissue culture plantlets; introducing technologically-sound production, harvesting and processing techniques; providing soil-testing services as part of good agricultural practices; and developing alternative irrigation infrastructure to match the profile of ginger–producing areas, and chemically profiling Jamaican ginger as a strategic marketing tool
planting material with the most desirable chemical profiles; evaluating lowcost alternative turmeric drying and polishing technology to supply to the industry; and installing a state-ofthe-art centralized processing facility.
EXPORT DIVISION, MINISTRY OFAGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES
P.O. Box 504, Marcus Garvey, Kingston • Tel: 923-8878 • 923-8957 Fax: 901-3307 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact
22 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • AUGUST 2013
• Is caused by a fungus-Hemileia vastatrix. • Is one of the most devastating and widespread disease of coffee worldwide. • Has wiped out coffee in what is now known as Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
COFFEE LEAF RUST
• Spend at least 1 hour a day being physically active • Eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables everday • Snack on health foods and not on junk food and sweets • Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day • Eat a variety of nutrient rich foods • Avoid greasy and fried foods • Spend less than 2 hours a day • Eat moderate portions watching tv and/or playing •Eat slowly video games • Don’t skip meals
10 WEIGHT LOSS TIPS
Questions &Comments email@example.com
By Gloria Bent, MS, RD, CDN
Avoid fad diets like the plague; to get all the nutrition the human body needs, eat carbs, protein, and fat (yes, even fat!) at every meal. By doing so, you'll have a healthy heart, healthy brain, and a fully functional immune system. Eating highly varied foods will also help insure you get all the vitamins, minerals, oils, and enzymes your body craves. That’s all there is to it. With the exception of sweets, eliminating one area of the food pyramid from your diet won’t replace the need to simply consume fewer calories.
Maintain healthy eating habits.
How to Keep Healthy
By Kelly Huynh, Travis Derouin, Nicole Willson This helps flush metabolic wastes to keep your metabolism in top shape. Water can also help you feel fuller, so drink at least a half-gallon (2 liters) of water every day (or more if you are active or live in a hot climate).
Drink more water
To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume.
For Further Information: Advisory Services Department
1 Willie Henry Drive • Kingston 13, Jamaica W.I. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Tel: (876)–758–1259 • Fax (876)–758–3907 www.ciboj.org
COFFEE INDUSTRY BOARD
Some people even recommend eating up to 6 mini meals a day instead of 3 large ones, which can sustain energy and steady blood-sugar levels; however, many people end up turning their “mini meals” into junk food sessions and end up consuming not just more calories, but emptier ones. Be honest with yourself before making this choice. If you want to work on portion control, eat low energy-density foods (i.e. more substance, fewer calories). Fruits and vegetables, for example, are packed with not only vitamins and minerals, but also water and fiber, making them take longer to digest and keeping you full longer.
Avoid skipping meals, which is hard on the body
Adults should get 7 to 9 hours daily, whereas school-aged children should get 10 to 11. One of the absolute most important ways of improving the quality of your sleep is to do it in complete darkness, as even small amounts of light interfere with the chemicals that tell your body to rest. If you can’t eliminate the light in your room, wear an eye mask. Another one of the best ways to improve your sleep is to exercise. Sleeping is also a good way to prevent overeating. A study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that men who only slept for 4 hours consumed, on average, 500 more calories than they did after sleeping for 8. If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership, try strength-training at home. The muscle you develop will help increase your metabolism: the bodies of muscular people burn more calories even while they’re at rest. To keep your heart in shape, do cardio. One particularly effective way to improve your cardiovascular health is to do interval training, which means alternating between low- and high-intensity activity.
Sleep well every night
Stick to an exercise regimen
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