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eteran politician and farmer Roger Clarke was reappointed Agriculture and Fisheries Minister (January 6) by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, following the December 29 General Elections, and after shadowing that portfolio since 2007.
Minister Clarke served as State Minister for Agriculture in 1992 for three years and in 1998 was appointed full Minister. He served as Minister for Agriculture for a decade before the 2007 General Elections. An upbeat Clarke said his vision is to enhance the country’s food security, promote rural development and create the environment to generate wealth for the nation’s farmers. Another area of focus for the new Minister will be to stimulate production within the coffee industry as well as taking a serious look at the banana and cocoa producing sectors. "It cannot be that we are importing bananas into the country at this point in time, so we have to find a way to deal with that. Cocoa production, the possibilities are endless in terms of demand and price, so we will be concentrating our efforts on resuscitating our cocoa production in the country," Clarke said. Efforts will also be made to improve the marketing of domestic produce through revision of the Agricultural Business Information System (ABIS), which is operated by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). Clarke said that increasing the number of RADA extension officers and the quality of service they provide to farmers would be

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where he spent his early-childhood days before migrating to the United States at age 13. While in the United States, Hayles read for a bachelor's degree in business administration before returning to Jamaica in 2000.
IAN HAYLES State Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries

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ince Monday (February 20) $50M is being disbursed to 6,000 Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Farmers. Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, Managing Director, Senator Norman Grant, said the company has declared a final price of $3,091 per box of coffee supplied by the farmers. This is 20 percent higher than what was paid during the 2010/2011 crop: For the 2011/2012 crop the company, which was recently acquired by the Jamaica Producers Group and Pan Jamaica Investment Trust Limited, was the largest processor and exporter of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. ---------------------------------------

Mavis Bank to pay 6,000 Coffee farmers

on the front burner, and a review of RADA would be done. Member of Parliament for Western Hanover Ian Hayles was appointed State Minister in the Ministry. He was born in George's Plain in Central Westmoreland. Hayle later moved to Sir Alexander Bustamante's birth district, Blenheim in Hanover, and then to Cave Hill, also in the parish,

ROGER CLARKE Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries

In 2007, at age 35, Hayle was first elected MP for Western Hanover representing the Peoples National Party. He was one of the youngest MPs in Gordon House at the time. Hayle is also a founding member of Generation 2000, an affiliate of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party which he later resigned to join the PNP.

dry spell in several parishes is causing concern for farmers. Four other parishes, Hanover, Westmoreland, Manchester and St. Thomas are experiencing what the met office describes as a severe drought. The met service says a significant deficit in rainfall has left five parishes facing extreme or severe drought conditions. Data from the met service reveals that Clarendon and St Elizabeth are experiencing extreme drought conditions. Based on the data St. Elizabeth is one of the parishes getting the most rain, but the farmers say they have not seen the evidence. Those in the bread basket parish say they have lost thousands of dollars because of the lack of water.

Drought hits famers hard

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fter serving nine years as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries in the previous PNP administration, Roger Clarke, Member of Parliament for Central Westmoreland was on January 6, 2012, reappointed to the same post following his party victory in the December 29, 2011 general elections. Clarke is on his way to become Jamaica’s longest serving Minister of Agriculture and with the young and vibrant Ian Hayle as his State Minister, I am confident they will work hard for the farmers. Since independence, Jamaican agriculture has been on a declining trend with total hectare in farming estimated at 325,810, according to the 2007 agricultural census. Food imports is now over $800 millions, farm roads in deplorable conditions, no reliable farm markets and praedial larceny are among the challenges facing farmers. However, despite their best intentions and plans to turn-around the farming sector, Clarke and Hayle must get the support

Clarke needs new strategies to grow agriculture!
EDITORIAL PAGE
of the Prime Minister and entire Cabinet to position agriculture as a viable business option. The government must be committed to a number of policies including significantly increasing the budgetary allocation to the Ministry to cover more than the basic expenses such as staffing, equipment and supplies. The Government of Jamaica spent several million dollars annually to promote our tourism product overseas and hires several persons in the international market place, yet find it difficult to employ an individual to market Jamaican agricultural export. We must reform our tax system to ensure more incentives to farmers. We cannot be asking farmers to pay upfront GCT on farm tools and equipment then claim for the refund. Such policy is affecting the farmer’s cash flow as crop/livestock take time to reach the market before any income is realized. Clarke will have to forge a serious

APRIL 2012 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • 3

Focal Focal Point Point
PATRICK MAITLAND

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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 editor@theagriculturalist.com. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all articles will be published.

oultry production and marketing are among the top agro-industries in the Caribbean, not only in terms of their economic value but also in terms of the level of sophistication and integration. Given the highly competitive nature of poultry products marketed from Brazil and the USA, and the fact that any contraction in the industry would create substantial socio-economic hardship, protection has been a feature of the Caribbean trade regime for some time. It is against this background that Caribbean Poultry Association (CPA) members are arguing for a more active and harmonised poultry trade policy in the Caribbean, aimed at both addressing supply-side constraints on competitiveness and replicating the types of trade policy tools used extensively elsewhere (ranging from import restrictions and outright import bans in Russia, China and Zimbabwe, through import quotas in Korea and TRQs in the EU and import licensing in Ukraine, to price controls in Thailand and Malaysia). The CPA have long objected to pro-

Editorial comment http://agritrade.cta.int

Poultry producers need protection from imports
• the introduction of country of origin labelling; • the prohibition of repackaging of imported frozen poultry parts; and • the harmonisation and strengthening of Caribbean SPS regulatory systems dealing with poultry products. It is hoped that these measures will serve to secure the future of the Caribbean poultry sector, which operates in a highly competitive hemispheric context. A number of these policy tools could potentially have relevance beyond the Caribbean.

working partnership with the private sector and non-government organizations. The talk should not only be confined to the leadership of the Jamaica Agricultural Society but other farmers group. We want a ministry of agriculture to understand the needs of farmers and work towards satisfying those desires. Now is the time to try new strategies as several policies and programmes put forward by both administrations (PNP and JLP) over the past decades have failed to

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significantly grow local production. Minister Clarke is also being urged to embrace new technologies in agriculture and target the new generation of young farmers and agriculturalists who are trained and ready to explore the opportunities in local farming. With adequate resources, government support and the cooperation of farmers, this should be Minister Clarke best term in office.

posed tax reforms in countries such as Jamaica which would reduce the CARICOM CET on poultry products from 40% to 20%, maintaining that this would be tantamount to agreeing to the dismantling of the Caribbean poultry industry. In addition to maintaining the 40% tariff and other supplementary duties and charges, the CPA is reported to be calling for a range of more active measures, including: • the active use of safeguard mechanisms linked to import licensing arrangements; • a prohibition on frozen products being thawed and sold as fresh chilled products;

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he Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has moved to facilitate greater dialogue among the sector’s stakeholders, by establishing its Chamber. This is expected to facilitate the hosting of regular fora among sector interests, thereby accommodating an exchange of ideas and views on the industry’s development. The Chamber is a forum which will seek to highlight challenges in the sector and provide workable solutions for its progression; develop and publicise opportunities within the sector; enhance productivity and value within the sector through integrated synergies; provide the forum whereby critical issues can be addressed with a commonality of purpose; and advise the Government to create a favourable and acceptable business environment for the sector. Launching the Chamber at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, on February 1, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Ian Hayles, said the initiative is a critical component, which will foster greater dialogue among stakeholders for the growth of the sector. Hayles reiterated that the JAS’ role is crucial in identifying, protecting and promoting the needs of the farmers. He used the opportunity to encourage everyone to buy local produce to ensure that the farmers’ livelihood can be sustained. “This is our country and the level of participation from everyone is vital and important. Whatever we do, the farmers have to be at the centre of divestment, they have to be at

JAS Launches Chamber to Assist Sector Stakeholders
NEWS

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ormer Agriculture Minister Robert Montague is defending his handling of Project GROW, which is now the subject of an audit. Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke announced the audit in parliament yesterday after disclosing that several tonnes of fertiliser which is to be distributed under the project are unaccounted for. Clarke also said that the ministry has received complaints of inequality in the distribution of the fertiliser. Montague insisted that the project was handled above board. He noted that the necessary government procurement procedures were followed. According to him, special care was made to ensure that the project was not politicised. Project GROW was launched last November by Montague to provide assistance to the

Montague defends GROW after audit announced

the centre of any policy framework or any strategy going forward,” he said. For his part, President of the JAS, Glendon Harris, said the Chamber would seek to expand commodity association groupings, thus representing the wider interest of agriculturerelated stakeholders to include: agro-processors, educational institutions, suppliers, marketers, exporters, among others.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ian Hayles (1st right) raps with (l-r) Dionne Clarke-Harris, representative CARDI Jamaica, Past President, Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant, and Henry Rainford, CEO, Jamaica Livestock Association during the launch of the JAS’ Chamber at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on February 1. The Chamber, which is a forum, seeks to develop and publicise opportunities within the agricultural sector; enhance productivity and value within the sector through integrated synergies; and provide an outlet whereby critical issues can be addressed with a commonality of purpose.

he Ministry of Agriculture is planning to establish 500 acres of Turmeric and Ginger in the new few weeks. 350 acres of turmeric will be planted in the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, Clarendon, St. Mary, St. Catherine, St.Thomas, Trelawny and St. Elizabeth. Turmeric is a plant which when processed is used mostly as a food seasoning in the form of curry powder, as a food colouring and in pharmaceutical industries. In Jamaica, turmeric grows wild in many parishes, particularly, Hanover, Westmoreland and St.

Gov to expand Turmeric and Ginger production

Robert Montague Former Agriculture Minister agriculture sector. Under the project, some 1,000 tonnes of fertiliser, pesticides, small tools, among other things, were to be provided free of cost to farmers.

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Elizabeth. There are also plans to plant 150 acres of ginger at the same time. In making the announcement Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke explained that the markets for both spices are not being fully exploited despite the quality of the spices grown on the island. A cadre of 10 graduates of the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) has been recruited and will be trained and deployed as extension officers exclusively to ginger and turmeric farmers.

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inister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Roger Clarke, has informed that the Government has so far realised a total of $1.0304 billion from the privatisation of government owned sugar factories. Speaking in the House of Representatives, today (February 14), Mr. Clarke said the St. Thomas Sugar Estate was sold for $67.067 million ($42.5 million for the factory and $24.56 million in lease payments). He also informed that the Trelawny Sugar Estate was sold for $127.5 million and this represents the proceeds from the sale of the factory, as lease payments have been deferred until July 2012. The Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge sugar factories were sold for $835.9 million, including $765 million for the factories and $70.9 million in lease payments. “In the interest of transparency, I am constrained to inform that these receipts were against valuations of $14.844 billion and the Government will have to absorb the Sugar Company of Jamaica’s total debt of $35.03 billion, as at January 31, 2012,” Mr. Clarke said. The Minister further told the House that over $43 million was paid to Mr. Aubyn Hill for compensation for his services during the privatisation process. “Compensation for Mr. Hill for privatisation payments in round three was $18.18 million. In addition some $28.25 million was paid by the Ministry for round two,” Mr. Clarke said. Meanwhile, Mr. Clarke informed that the privatisation of the sugar factories is already showing encouraging results. “Since the divestment of the St. Thomas Sugar Estates to Golden Grove Sugar Company Limited in 2009, cane production has increased by 10.85 per cent from 163 tonnes to 181,000 tonnes. Sugar production has increased by 28.1 per cent from 12,587 tonnes to 16,123 tonnes since the divestment to Golden Grove Sugar Company,” the Minister stated. “Although there was an unfortunate mishap that caused the factory (Trelawny Sugar Estate) to be closed

Privatisation of Sugar Factories Yields $1 Billion

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for rehabilitation in the 2010/11 crop, I am happy to report that the new owners have spent significant funds and the factory will re-open for this crop. This will stimulate expansion of cane production by farmers in the area,” he added. Mr. Clarke said that having handed over the factories to COMPLANT (from China) in August, 2011, he was satisfied with the level of investment by Pan Caribbean in Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge Sugar Estates. He informed that Pan Caribbean has procured over 50 pieces of equipment for use on the Estates they have acquired and they have committed themselves to putting up a new factory at Monymusk by 2016. “The total investment contemplated by Pan Caribbean Sugar is about $1.1 billion,” Mr. Clarke said. In the meantime, in the financial year 2012/13, the Government will spend over $1 billion in relocating residents of the sugar barracks, upgrading sporting facilities and executing critical small community infrastructure projects. Additionally, in order to ensure that cane farmers continue to maintain a stake in the sugar sector, the government will increase the capital of the cane expansion fund to $1.7 billion, fast track rehabilitation of critical cane roads and establish a number of Agro-Parks in sugar dependent areas. “I am constrained to point out that the expenditure on these projects in the next financial year is contingent on the government finalising an agreement with the International Monetary Fund,” Mr. Clarke said.

ROGER CLARKE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE

ormer Chief Executive Officer of the state-run SCJ Holdings, Aubyn Hill, has mounted a strong defence following news that he was paid more than $43 million for leading the divestment of the country's sugar assets. SCJ Holdings was responsible for the sale of the five sugar factories and six estates which were owned by the Government of Jamaica. During the period Hill's contract with the company was repeatedly the subject of scrutiny. Controversy was ignited in October 2010 when it was revealed that his consultancy firm, Corporate Strategies, was being paid an average one-pointnine million dollars each month. In Parliament on Tuesday February 14, Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke,

Hill defends his $43M salary package
NEWS

APRIL 2012 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • 5

Aubyn Hill, Former CEO of SCJ Holdings was paid more than $43 million for leading the divestment of the country's sugar assets.

revealed that Mr. Hill received a total of 43 million dollars. Mr. Hill declared that the country received value for money. He said it was fair pay for the volume of work done, and the long term savings for the country. The privatisation of the sugar factories was completed last August when the Chinese firm, Complant, officially assumed ownership of Frome, Monymusk and Bernard Lodge. In the meantime, the leadership of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association, is raising questions about the 43 million dollars paid to Mr. Hill. Chairman of the Association, Allan Rickards, says he does not believe the payment was justified.

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President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Glendon Harris (r), greets Regional Customer Service Manager at the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), Kathie Cook, while Regional Manager of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Bernard Goff looks on at centre.

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RE-ENGINEERING COCOA:

(l-r) Agriculture & Fisheries Minister, Roger Clarke presents Howard Wright with certificate of participation at the official launch of the Re-engineering Cocoa Rural Economy through Agro-processing, Eco-Tourism & Entrepreneurship, “RECREATE” project, a € 350,000 joint venture between the European Union and the Cocoa Industry Board. The project was launched today (March 20) at the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Hope Gardens, Kingston 6.

lans are well advanced for this year's staging of the annual Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, which will be held on Easter Monday (April 9) on the Montpelier grounds in St. James. The event, which is being organised by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in partnership with the St. James Association of Branch Societies, is expected to cost $2.28 million. Organisers anticipate that the 2012 show will be the best ever with more attractive displays and the largest crowd of supporters and patrons. President of the JAS and chairman of the show’s planning committee, Glendon Harris, said seed funding has already been provided to all the JAS branches “so that they can begin to prepare and enable their displays to represent their best efforts”. “We will be going all out this year. At this stage, the grounds are about 97 per cent ready

Montpelier Show to be the biggest and best yet

for the show, as well as electricity and water,” he stated at the official launch held on March 28 at the Sunset Beach Resort in Freeport. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Violet Neilson (left), presents Grace Smith with the St. James Parish second place certificate and prize money, which she won at last year's Denbigh Agricultural Show in May Pen, Clarendon. Mr. Harris said the livestock display is expected to be the biggest yet, with the YS Falls Farms and the Montpelier Research Station participating. “The Montpelier Research Station will be joining us to show off their wide range of animals and other products and for the first time in many, many years, we will be having the YS Falls Farms under the leadership of Dr. Wellington and his champion Jamaica Hope cattle on display.

(left) demonstrates how to properly prepare the lionfish for consumption as President and Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank, Bruce Bowen (second left) and Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal, University of the West Indies’ (UWI), Mona Campus, Prof. Gordon Shirley (right) closely observe. The fish that once seemed untouchable with its defensive spines, has now proven conquerable, quickly whipped up into a delicious dish, the lionfish could easily become the seafood of choice for many a discerning palate.

Lio nf ish Fast Becomin g t he Caribb ean's New D e l i c a c y : National Lion Fish Project Lead, Dr. Dayne Buddo

www.agrilifefoundation.org

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research team led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has developed three new varieties of vitamin A cassava that could improve the livelihoods of millions of farmers in Africa and help put an end to malnutrition due to vitamin A deficiency in the continent.

New varieties of vitamin A cassava

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The vitamin A cassava varieties named by the National Variety release Committee of Nigeria as UMUCASS 36, UMUCASS 37, and UMUCASS 38 are recognized as IITA genotypes TMS 01/1368, TMS 01/1412, and TMS 01/1371. They have high beta carotene (pro-vitamin A) and are suitable for food uses as gari, fufu, and high quality cassava flour. The yellow root color of the vitamin A-rich varieties are products of over 20 years of breeding efforts for improved nutritional quality using traditional breeding methods involving hybridization and selection of cassava seedlings followed by clonal propagation of the selected desirable plants. Drs. Peter Kulakow and Norbert Maroya, IITA Cassava Breeders, said, “The development of these varieties is a major breakthrough that will change the nutritional status of people living on cassava-based food.” Known for its high carbohydrate content, cassava is the fourth largest staple after wheat, maize, and rice consumed in the developing countries, with over 200 million people in sub-Saharan Africa relying on the crop for over half of their daily food energy.

offee berries that have been affected by the Coffee Berry Borer in the hills of Bangor Ridge, Portland. The leaves have also been stripped from the tree as a result of the American Leaf Spot disease. The Coffee Industry Board (CIB), in collaboration with stakeholders (farmers, the coffee growers association and coffee dealers), has set up a Task Force to aggressively fight the Coffee Berry Borer, which poses a serious threat to the industry. The Coffee Berry Borer is a microscopic beetle that invades the coffee berry in its early stage, eventually destroying the berry. Speaking with JIS News at a Coffee Farmers Workshop and Training Seminar at Bangor Ridge, Portland, on February 16, Director General of the CIB, Christopher Gentles, explained that the initial work of the task force is to develop strategies to reduce the population of the

By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS PRO

CIB to Fight Coffee Berry Borer
NEWS
Coffee Berry Borer pest to a level that does not threaten the economic viability of the industry. He pointed out that if the pest is not controlled, the coffee industry could lose nearly $432 million in export earnings and farmers could lose as much as 50 per cent of their harvest. Gentles said that some Christopher Gentles farmers have virtually Director General abandoned their fields, Coffee Industry Board thus providing a safe host for the borer, and this has allowed the population to increase dramatically. “What we want to do is take back our industry and re-engage the farmers to the farms and to reap the berries. Currently, the level of loss has

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he College of Agriculture, Science and Education, CASE, is expected to get involved in DNA research, soon. The College has been given a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine from the Coconut Industry Board. and board member. Dr. Anthony Myrie. The machine was presented on Thursday,

CASE gets help with DNA research
with a demonstration to senior members of staff. and members of the security forces.The machine has a variety of uses related to DNA testing. It can also distinguish different strains that cause different diseases. It has been used to find out and detect lethal yellowing diseases in coconuts.

been estimated at 13.4 per cent for coffee that is received in the field. We want to reduce this to six per cent or lower,” he told JIS News. He said the Task Force will have as its primary duty, the containment of the pest by way of public awareness, training and public meetings, in collaboration with the coffee dealers. “Our control strategy is based on three planks: reaping and field sanitation (the removal of dried, ripe and green berries); setting some 50,000 Pheromone traps in the field that the CIB will be distributing; and using more environmentally friendly insecticide in order to bring down the population to acceptable levels,” Mr. Gentles said. Coffee farmers from Bangor Ridge and surrounding communities, including Cherry Hill, Mt. St. Bernard and Mahoe, who attended the workshop expressed appreciation for the information about dealing with the Berry Borer pest and for the free traps that were distributed.

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evelopers of a new concept in urban farming, the Plantagon Greenhouse, broke ground for the first structure in Sweden this week. The new type of greenhouse for vertical farming in cities provides a way to use excess heat and CO2 from industries while growing crops. The greenhouse is being built in Linkoping, Sweden and is expected to be completed in 12-16 months, according to a statement released by Plantagon International. The plant will produce vegetables from the recycled resources. "I am immensely proud that Linkoping is the chosen site for the first vertical greenhouse. We will be the first city in the world to test the new technology and the systems involved to develop sustainable agricultural solutions for future cities," Paul Lindvall, Mayor of Linkoping, said in a statement. "This is a historic day for Plantagon. This ceremony marks the realization of the vision of creating functional sustainable solutions for the growing cities of today and tomorrow, where we can grow food in the cities in a resource-smart way, making use of the special conditions of the city," said Hans Hassle, CEO of Plantagon.

New urban farming structure breaks ground

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Providing Training For TheNation's Youths (Age 5-25) Creating Better Leaders For Tomorrow THE JAMAICA 4-H CLUBS
95 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6, Jamaica WI Tel: 927-4050-2 • Fax: 978-3209 E-mail: jamaica.4h@cwjamaica.com • Website: www.jamaica4hclubs.com

St. Thomas - March 29, 2012 -- Yallahs Primary Portland - April 4, 2012 -- CASE National Achievement Days -April 25-27, 2012-Denbigh Showground

Achievement Days 2012

The donation to the college will improve its research capacity and provide hands-on experience and for the students.Tom Dennis from agricultural company Elders says some farmers who cannot afford to feed their lambs are selling them sooner than usual."That's why we're seeing this lamb price fall, because basically [it is] forced selling," he said.

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US grain exporters face a "crisis of competitiveness" which is seeing foreign rivals raise market share, helped in corn by doubts over the quality of American supplies. The US Grains Council, whose role is to promote the country's grain exports, warned of "rapidly changing market realities" which were eroding US pre-eminence in agricultural commodity shipments. The group focused on corn, in which the US is, for the first time in 2011-12, to account for less than 50% of world shipments, thanks to the emergence of Ukraine as a major exporter. America's exports will ease to 43.2m tonnes, or 46% of the world total, down from 52% last season, on US Department of Agriculture exports. However, the US is also to be overtaken by Brazil as a soybean exporter, and in wheat is seeing its lead in shipments eroded by Australia and Russia. "US producers face a crisis of competitiveness," the council said, noting an "intense bat-

US crop exports face 'crisis of competitiveness'

APRIL 2012 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • 11

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hina is to challenge the European Union and the US as top sugar importer as soon as this season, experts said, warning that poor weather will drag the country's output short of government targets. The International Sugar Organisation cut by 1.13m tonnes to 11.5m tonnes its forecast for Chinese sugar production in 2011-12, citing a surprise 8% decline in output in the first four months of the season. The production decline, blamed on "adverse weather conditions throughout the vegetation and harvesting periods", meant that China "may not be able to reach its target to increase white sugar output to 12.0m tonnes in 2011-12". This will translate into "significantly higher demand" for buy-ins, the ISO said, noting that "in December alone, sugar imports reached 500,000 tones".

China's sugar imports hiked to more than 3m tonnes

tle" for share in export markets. "Aggressive competitors in Argentina, Brazil and the Black Sea region… are ramping up production in response to high global prices for corn and other feed grains." US producers "can hardly fault others for competing effectively for market share because, in large part, we taught them how to do it", the group said. "But rising competition means US producers must look aggressively to emerging markets in which the US can earn a competitive edge." The comments follow forecasts last week from the USDA that the US was over the next decade to continue to lose market share in exports of major crops including corn, soybeans and wheat and, to a lesser extent, cotton and sorghum. In wheat, US shipments will represent 16% of the world total in 2021, down from an average of 23% over the past five years, the last decade, mainly due to increased shipments from the Black Sea.

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Paris, France: he International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) has recently released its short-term Fertilizer Outlook 2012-2013 to the public. The report shows that the fertilizer sector has now fully recuperated from the setback of 2008/09 and is maintaining a steady stream of investment in new capacity, capitalizing on the positive forecasts of a 3 per cent increase in consumption worldwide for the main nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) – in 2012. Agricultural commodity prices peaked at the beginning of 2011 and remained high throughout the first half of the year due to tight market conditions in 2010/11. Last year’s global cereal harvest reached a new record of 2.3 billion metric tonnes. However, this increase in production will be entirely absorbed by rising demand for food,

Steady rise in fertilizer consumption expected in 2012

The organisation hiked its forecast for Chinese imports by 625,000 tonnes to 3.325m tonnes, leaving the country within an ace of taking top rank among buyers. The European Union is seen as the biggest importer in 2011-12, with purchases of 3.387m tonnes, with US buy-ins pegged at 3.380m tonnes. Commonwealth Bank of Australia last month forecast China becoming the largest sugar importer – by 2020 – as the sweetener rose towards levels of per capita consumption that it has achieved in other countries. Nonetheless, the ISO warned of "bearish pressure on world prices of sugar", a more downbeat stance than it has taken previously, as better output than previously thought in the European Union, the former Soviet Union and, in particular, Brazil offsets the China production downgrade.

feed and biofuel uses. As a result, the global stock-to-use ratio is seen as remaining stable but still relatively low at the end of the 2011/12 campaign. More worryingly, the ratio for coarse grains is expected to decline for the third consecutive year, to a very low level, due to a disappointing maize harvest in the United States (according to USDA crop forecasts). The FAO indicated in the last quarter of 2011 that agricultural commodity prices had been contracting in the second half of the year but were still well above historical levels, driven by tight maize market conditions and competition for land between crops. Stimulated by the sharp rebound of world economic activity, particularly in developing countries, and strong agricultural market fundamentals, IFA estimates that global fertilizer consumption increased by 6.2 per cent in 2010/11, to 173 million metric tonnes (Mt) of nutrients.

• Helps to minimize the negative impact to the fragile eco-system of the Blue Mountains. • Increased production and high-quality berries • Major reduction in pest control cost
For further information contact:

• Environmentally Friendly Pest Control Measures: -Controlling the Berry Borer with the Rustic Traps - Re-emphasizing Stripping

Increase Production with Eco-Friendly Strategies

758-3903 or 758-1259
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he Project Team of representatives from the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), Micro Ensure and Munich Re in partnership with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has taken another step towards developing a Livelihood Protection Policy for low-income earners and a Loan Portfolio Cover insurance policy for lenders to the Micro, Small and Medium Sized (MSME) Enterprise sector. Reently the DBJ hosted the second in a series of workshops on ‘Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean’ to collect additional data to prepare product design and create policies to aid low income house-

DBJ Investigates Insurance Coverage For Low-Income Earners
holds, particularly vulnerable farmers, in reducing or avoiding loss and damage from extreme weather events such as heavy rains and winds, floods and hurricanes. Presenters at the seminar included representatives from MicroEnsure, the world largest microinsurance brokers, the MCII, CCRIF, and Munich Re. According to the message carried by the presenters, low-income communities face daunting challenges in managing weather-related risks, and farmers and day labourers are among the first to be affected by bad weather. Very few of these persons have sufficient weather information to inform their farming and investment decisions or have access to financial back-up mechanisms for hard times. n addition, few have adequate resources to apply other risk management strategies (use of savings, sale of assets, credit and so on) to manage disaster risk, translating into a negative cycle of poverty. The Livelihood Protection Policy (LPP) is one method of breaking this negative cycle by providing individuals with an amount of money within a short period of time after an extreme weather event so that they can quickly start rebuilding their lives. In leading the discussion on the benefits of the LPP, Dieter Broesche, the representative of reinsurer Munich Re, pointed out that this was not insurance coverage for life or property but instead one’s livelihood. So, for example, a small farmer would be able to take coverage for his farming activities and, after a weather-related event with windspeed at - for example - 100 or more miles per hour occurred, would receive a financial payout. Because it is aimed at the low-income sector, premiums would be at a level that is affordable to the farmer. The LPP would be offered in fixed blocks of coverage, for example $100, but purchasers would be able to adjust coverage to their individual needs by buying more than one policy. An important feature of the LPP is an SMS-based warning and claims notification system that advises policy holders about upcoming weather events by their cell phones. This

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ats are furry and cute, but they can also be aggressively playful and occasionally downright bad-tempered. After all, a cat is an animal that always remains a little wild at heart, and however tame it seems, it may just decide to walk on the wild side once in a while. Cat scratches or bites can cause severe ailments in people who have poor resistance and not enough immunity. For some people with serious diseases like cancer, a cat bite or scratch can be extremely difficult to heal. Initial symptoms: Need to take precautions Got a bite from your cat? You don’t pay any attention to it at the beginning. But slowly you find something is wrong with your health. The spot where the cat had scratched slowly turns into a sore and grows infectious. Actually, almost a week may pass from the time of the original bite till the sore develops. And only then will you start thinking that something is seriously wrong. Cats generally scratch mostly on the hands, legs and other areas of the limbs. If you are cuddling your cat and squeeze a little too hard, you might get a bite on your nose and face too! Whenever an infection develops out of a scratch, the gland directly associated with that part of your body is affected. The glandular infection causes inflammation of the lymph nodes and that is painful too. Immediately see a doctor before the infection grows any further. Sometimes the exact cause of inflammation and swelling cannot be detected just by looking at the sore. Therefore, a doctor’s advice becomes important. You might have to

How to Stop Your Cat Scratching!

would allow people to react in time to secure their assets, leading to a reduction in losses. Should the trigger level be reached then a message would let policy holders know. In so far as distributors (such as banks, credit unions, cooperatives and other such entities which lend to the rural and low-income sector) of the LPP are concerned, Mr. Broesche spoke about the Loan Portfolio Cover, a trigger-based insurance policy which would provide portfolio level protection against loan default for lender institutions which have significant portfolios of individual and MSME loans exposed to weather risks. This policy will enable the institutions to restructure or write off defaulted loans of their clients.

P ET C O R N E R

go for blood tests to find out what harm the scratch has actually done.

Actual treatments: Prevention at the earliest Had you not excited the cat it probably wouldn’t have been aroused enough to scratch you. It is always better to play with cats keeping them at arm’s length and not to cause them any annoyance through teasing. Trust us, cats can react swiftly. But if the mishap has already occurred, go for the right treatment. You may need a course of antibiotics for a long term, at least for a couple of months or more. An animal poison has infected you and that can really be very dangerous. So it takes a long time to heal. Yes there are injections, but the process is painful. The inflamed area will be pierced with a needle and the infection driven out. Finally, you have to be doubly careful if a street animal has scratched you. Don't tease them unnecessarily. If you don't create problems for them, they won't disturb you!

COMM ITTED TO HEAL, RESCUE AND PROTECT
10 Winchester Road, Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 929-0320: Fax: (876) 754-4594 • jspca@yahoo.com

Jamaican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal

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APRIL 2012 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • 15

16 • THE AGRICULTURALIST • APRIL 2012

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