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VOL. 23 NO. 8 JUNE 2012

Minister Phillips during the Budget presentation on Thursday (May 24) announced that effective June 1 selected farm produce and input supplies would attract General Consumption Tax (GCT) at 16.5%. However, following objections from the public, the Minister tabled a revised list in Parliament on June 6, which includes eggs, live birds, fish, pet food as well as planting materials including cereals and seeds in their natural state, dormant flower bulbs, corns, roots and tubers and nursery stock, vegetable plants and live trees as among the taxable items. The Minister also announced that GCT on commercial electricity customers will be increased from 10% to the standard rate of 16.5%. This measure will take effect July 1, 2012. Agricultural consultant and farmer Omer Thomas is projecting a 20% increase in the overall cost of production for livestock as a result of the new taxes and the 50% increase in motor vehicle licensing fees. Depending on the level of management and the price movement of other inputs, the cost could be high as 25%, Thomas projected. In the case of crop production, Thomas suggested that farmers would experience an 18% increase in their production costs, which is mainly attributed to electricity and transportation costs. With efficiency the increase will be more man-

amaican farmers are bracing for an estimated 20-25% increase in their overall operations cost as a result of new taxes announced by Finance Minister Peter Phillips to help raise $23.4 billion to fund the Government's $612 billion budget for the fiscal year 2012-13.

Jamaican Farmers Face New Taxes

By Patrick Maitland, Editor-The Agriculturalist


time on GCT, would be a movement from 0 to 16%. And this would impact significantly both the cost of the finished product and the practice of how the product is consumed in Jamaica. Baker estimated that the GCT on eggs would increase the average cost of eggs by 40 to 50%. Government Senator and first vicepresident of the JAS, Norman Grant is recommending that the government roll back the tax on raw produce and instead tax goods made from them. Grant believes it would be more beneficial to tax imported agricultural products. See new GCT rates on page 9.

ageable for crop farmers, he added. Chief Executive Officer Brian Jardim of Rainforest Seafoods is among those from the agriculture sector calling for a review of the proposed tax measures. Jardim added that consumption of rainforest products will also be negatively affected and this will limit the choices of protein that people can easily afford. Jamaica Egg Farmers Association President Roy Baker has described the addition of GCT as the nail in the coffin of the egg industry: Any movement at this


Port Antonio, Portland: amaica imported a whopping US$8.4million worth of banana chips and other by-products of the fruit last year, up from US $3.7 million in 2010. Speaking recently at the Portland Area Council All-Island Banana Growers Association Ltd (AIBGA) annual general meeting, Chairman of the AIBGA, Gretel Sessing, urged the government to halt the imports as it is affecting the sales of their fruits, while thousands of acres of green gold are going to waste. Several farmers aired their grouses and plight as they were unable to sell their fruits. "It is getting more and more frustrating," said Leslie Monelal, a banana farmer of Tom's Hope in the Rio Grande Valley, who spoke on behalf of the other farmers. The growers are appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture to provide a sustainable local market for them to sell their fruits The Chairman however encouraged the farmers to dismiss the traditional talk of 'nutten nah gwaan,' and to instead focus on producing not only for the local market, but to also feed the world.

Stop Importing Banana Chips!


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he government's decision to include General Consumption Tax (GCT) on selected farm produce and input supplies is among the worst policies to be implemented on the local food producers. Jamaican farmers are now the most taxed group of producers in the world, while they receive little benefits or direct incentives from government. Budgetary support to the Ministry of Agriculture and its affiliated agencies is always below 2% of the total budget, yet agriculture and its value-added commodities contribute well over 15% to the islands Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs up to 21% of the labour force. During the agricultural/industrial era of economic growth and developments, the Jamaican farmers contributed significantly to feed this island, but were never taken seriously or positioned on a sustainable growth path. Successive governments have been like parasites on the back of the farmers. They have always taken from the farmers, while contributing less to their success.

GCT on AgricultureThe Worst Farm Policy!

For decades the government enjoyed monopolistic control over the marketing and sales of various commodities such as sugar, coffee, cocoa, pimento and banana, while underpaying the farmers. The situation only changed in recent years as the government was forced to liberalize and divest its interests in those commodities. Under the PNP and JLP, some of the best farmlands, including irrigated fields were taken out of production and put into houses and other non-farming projects. Trade agreements were signed allowing foreign farmers to flood the market with low-cost and subsidized livestock and crops produce. Our cattle industry, including the world-renowned Jamaica Hope breed is on the verge of extinction mainly as a result of the US-sponsored PL480 programme which has facilitated the importation of cheap milk products, such as butter and cheese for more than ten years.



Focal Focal Point Point



The opinions expressed in this newspaper, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Agriculturalist and its publishers. Please send your comments or suggestions to Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all articles will be published.

During the period, US dairy farmers were producing too much milk and their government came to their aid, by implementing a programme to purchase the farmers (US) products and donate them to the Jamaican government for sale on the local market. The proceeds from the sales were used as grant to support several development projects in agriculture. However, we are now learning that the PL480 was a bad policy, as our cattle

Publisher -The Agriculturalist

farmers could not compete with those subsidized imported milk products and one of the main beneficiaries, the Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation (JADF) is almost bankrupt as a result of poor management. With several thousands poor farmers and food production on the decline, GCT on agriculture is the worst farm policy any government could implement at this time. We need investment and incentives in agriculture, not new taxes.

Editorial comment he situation in the banana sector in Jamaica is similar to that of other banana producers in the Caribbean, where the difficulties faced in controlling Black Sigatoka disease have been severely debilitating the industry.

A fundamental rebuilding of the banana industry

The recent resurgence of Black Sigatoka in St Lucia and the allocation of part of the EU Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) programme funding in Belize to controlling the disease are indicative of the seriousness of the situation. At present, Jamaica appears to be the only Caribbean banana producer to have embarked on a fundamental rebuilding of the banana industry rooted on a completely new, re-engineered variety. The other Caribbean banana producers will be closely observing the performance of the Jamaican industry with this new variety, and especially the impact it could have on the development of a valueadded banana products industry. However, this strategic shift in Jamaican policy was initiated towards the end of the EUs extensive banana support programme (a 42-million programme initiated in 2000 and scheduled to end in 2012). In recent years the EC has taken the view that despite the European support programme, the Jamaican banana industry has been experiencing a steady decline in terms of production and exports.. As a consequence, a reorientation of the ECs banana assistance to Jamaica is under way, and the focus of EC support has shifted towards economic diversification and in shielding the negative im-


pact of the downturn of the industry. It remains to be seen therefore to what extent the EU will continue to contribute to the implementation of the Jamaican governments value-added processing strategy for the banana sector, under the new BAM programme.

The mission of Agri Life Foundation is to enhance the social and economic well being of farmers as well as to build awareness, understanding and a positive public perception of agriculture and the environment. For further information: Patrick Maitland, Executive Chairman, Agri Life Foundation 188 Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11, Jamaica WI Tel: 923-7471; 923-7428


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AMC Complex, 188 Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11, Jamaica, W.I. Tel: (876) 923-7471 923-7428 Fax: (876) 923-7428

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S coffee retailer Starbucks has doubled its orders for Jamaicas Blue Mountain coffee, increasing its order to 15,400 kg, a 360% increase on the initial order in 2010. However, according to the general manager of the Gold Cup Coffee Company, a fall in orders is expected for 2013, given the shaky period that the coffee industry is going through. While there is no price disclosure on the specific contract concluded with Starbucks, Director General of the Coffee Industry

Starbucks Orders More Blue Mountain Coffee



he Banana Board recentlyformally opened a nursery aimed at multiplying new banana and plantain varieties. The event also signaled the start of the banana resuscitation loan programme. The Banana Board will also benefit from an injection of supplies and capital. The initiatives are part of funding made available under the European Union Banana Sup-

Banana Board opens nursery

Board Christopher Gentles suggested a value of just over US$400,000 for the order. Following the increase in purchases by Starbucks, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee producers are being encouraged to sign up to Starbucks programme CAFE Practices Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices. This is a set of buying guidelines developed by Starbucks, Conservation International and Scientific Certification Systems of California to ensure that coffee is grown in a responsible way.

FERTILISER FOR COFFEE FARMERS: Dennis Valdez (left), Newport Fersans managing director, smiles as the ribbon is cut by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke (centre) at the official handover ceremony of approximately 12,000 bags of the companys Special Blend fertilizer on May 8. Director General of the Coffee Industry Board Christopher Gentles looks on.

port Programme through which just over $74 million was made available to the Banana Board. The new high-yield and diseaseresistant banana and plantain varieties will facilitate an increase in cost efficiencies by 30 percent, and will help create a sustainable valueadded market within three years. It's expected that over 1,400 banana and plantain farmers, as well as agri-businesses, will benefit from the programme.

armers in the coffee industry are to benefit from fertiliser acquired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries at a cost of $20 million to improve crop productivity. The nearly 12,000 bags of fertiliser, procured from local manufacturer, Newport Fersan (Jamaica) Limited, were pre-

Fertiliser for Coffee Farmers

sented to portfolio Minister, Roger Clarke, on May 8, at the company's Wherry Wharf complex at Newport East, Kingston. They will be distributed to farmers who are registered with the Coffee Industry Board, and who have delivered coffee within the last 24 months. The provision of the fertiliser forms part of the governments

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efforts to resuscitate the coffee industry. In February, the Ministry committed $29 million to the sector, $20 million of which was earmarked for providing fertilizer; while the remaining $9 million will assist efforts to counter the dreaded coffee berry borer, including assisting the Coffee Berry Borer Task Force to effect pest control and eradication.

Michael Collins (right), Sales Development & Training Specialist at Jamaica National Building Society examines a cucumber with a child as her mother and sister looked at. They were at the annual Agricultural and Industrial Show, Agrofest, which was held at Jamaica College on Saturday, May 26. The event was organized by the Kingston and St. Andrew Association of Branch Societies/JAS in collaboration with Rural Agricultural Development Agency, St. Andrew to assist local farmers in showcasing their produce to the public and to encourage Jamaicans to buy local produce. Jamaica National was a sponsor of the event.


Hours after residents of Rock River in Clarendon formed a Farmer's Watch group, the initiative has reaped success, with the arrest of a suspected thief. The name of the 49-year-old man is being withheld, as more investigations are being carried out. Less than 24 hours ago, the programme was launched in response to rising theft in the area. Reports are that on Thursday evening, fol-

Farmer's Watch Group reaps success

lowing the launch of the programme, the police received information that a man had stolen hybrid goats. In a pre-dawn operation on Friday morning, the lawmen went in search of the alleged thief, who reportedly ran away, leaving the goats. The police further allege that on Saturday evening, he showed up at the station claiming to have lost goats, and wanting to identify those that had been found.

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pposition leader Andrew Holness is seeking to justify tax waivers that were given to Chinese Company Complant in the divestment of the sugar industry during the previous Jamaica Labour Party led administration. Making his budget presentation this week in Parliament, Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke registered his concerns about the arrangement which will see Complant receiving waivers for up to 20 years. Holness expressed anger at what he said was an ex-

Holness defends Complant tax waivers

eteran farm leader and former head of the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association (AIJCFA) and the Cocoa Industry Board Ken Haugton is dead. A press release from the Ministry of Agriculture said Haughton passed away on Monday, May 28. Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Roger Clarke, said Haughtons love and passion for agriculture made him a champion for the cause of the small farmer particularly sugar workers. Clarke extend condolences to his immediate and extended family. The Cocoa Industry Board has expressed sadness of the passing of this stalwart of agriculture. "We are deeply saddened by the death of Mr. Kenneth Haughton, who served in several capacities within the agricultural sector for many years.

Veteran farm leader Ken Haughton is dead

ample of the government playing politics. I want to know what Omar Daviers is going to do when the Chinese come to him and say Yes, were ready to build these new highways but we need some waivers. Im going to come to parliament and raise it again because they (the government) were cheap enough play that as a political game. And this is what Im talking about when I say the politics of power. We took a decision to induce growth.

Officials of the Institute of Inter-American Co-operation on Agriculture, IICA, paid a courtesy call on Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke on Thursday IMay 24). In photo (l-r) Ignatius Jean, IICAs Representative in Jamaica, Carol Thomas, IICAs Representative to Barbados and Regional Specialist for Agricultural Health & Food Safety and Ana Marisa Cordero, IICAs Agricultural Specialist in Costa Rica.



He is fondly remembered as an active member of the farming community, who came up through the ranks of the Jamaica Agricultural Society and other commodity organisations. We extend our condolences to his immediate and extended family during this period of bereavement," a statement from the board said. Haughton chaired the Cocoa Industry Board and the then Cocoa Development Company Limited from 1989 to 1997. He also served as Chairman of the All Island Jamaica Cane Farmers' Association from 1995-98. Chairman of the AIJCFA All Rickards also expressed his regrets on behalf of Committee of the Management of the AIJCFA. "Mr Haughton had served the organisation during a period spanning the decades of the 1950's through to the 1990's, said in a statement to the media.

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pposition Spokesperson on Agriculture J.C. Hutchinson is raising alarm at what he says is the danger facing farmers in light of the re-emergence of the Beat Army Worm. He's also expressing concern about what he has described as the lacklustre response of the Ministry of Agriculture to the farmers' plight. Hutchinson told The Agriculturalist that the most recent outbreak of Beat Army Worms is ravaging a variety of crops including pepper, onion and escallion. He argues that with the increased cost of pesticides the Agriculture Ministry's ineffective response has dealt a double blow to the sector. According to Hutchinson, over the past two months many farmers, particularly those in St. Elizabeth, have been losing acres of produce. The Opposition Spokesman says the outbreak of Beat Army Worm is rapidly spreading and is starting to affect fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, cantaloupes and watermelons. Hutchinson is calling for the immediate intervention of the Minister of Agriculture and the implementation of measures to curtail the pest. He's warning that if corrective measures are not taken immediately the supply of vegetables and condiments could be compromised resulting in additional importation and price increases to consumers. The Beat Army Worm, which is native to Asia but also thrives in the United States, was discovered in sections of St. Elizabeth three years ago. The pest is green in colour and first appears in small groups of plants but feeds voraciously and spreads rapidly. The infestation can cause the loss of an entire field in a short time if not effectively treated. In his response, Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke said a special team from the Ministry of Agriculture has been dispatched to St. Elizabeth to assess the extent of losses suffered by farmers due to the re-emergence of the Beat Army Worm. The team will get a first hand view of the situation and present him with a report.

Army worms threaten farms in St. Elizabeth

Spray pesticides during the period of the day when the insects are most active to get the best control. Always try the least toxic method of pest control as your first step.

Army worms

Tips & Warnings

JIS amaican foods and beverages are renowned globally for their high quality and exotic flavours, endearing the discerning taste buds and palates of many persons who continue to enjoy them. Cognisant of this and the competitive advantage which Jamaicas unique foods present in the global marketplace, private and public sector stakeholders and interests have, both individually and collectively, been engaging in activities aimed at enhancing output, thereby establishing and consolidating the presence and prominence of local products. The latest such undertaking is a $42 million ginger and turmeric project, being spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, through its Export Division, which was launched earlier this year. The project represents what Portfolio Minister, Roger Clarke, says is the fulfillment of a commitment he made at the start of the year, to identify and earmark some 510 additional acres of arable land for ginger and turmeric cultivation and production. Speaking at the projects launch in St. Mary, where he presented a cheque in the sum of $25 million, representing the Ministrys input, Minister Clarke noted that ginger is among the fastest growing spices globally, while turmeric trade, which recorded increases over a two-year period, between 2006 and 2008, is set to further grow over the short to medium term." Noting that Jamaicas ginger ranks among the best in the world, Mr. Clarke contended that this presents an opportunity for expanded local production of the spice in order to capitalise on the increasing demand. Since 2001, global ginger imports have increased from 276,000 tonnes, valued at US$172 million, to 423,000 tonnes valued at US$64 million. Jamaican ginger, which is positioned in niche markets, is estimated to have global demand of about 21,000 tonnes of fresh or 4,200 tonnes of dried ginger, which is less than four per cent of global trade, he informed. Regarding turmeric, Mr. Clarke informed that global trade increased from 66,000 tonnes to 79,000 tonnes between 2006 and 2008, before declining to 53,000 tonnes in 2010, due primarily to weather influence in the areas of major origin. He added that, correspondingly, prices increased sharply. Despite these, the Minister said turmeric trade is increasing, and is predicted to remain on that trajectory over the short to medium term. General Manager of the Ministrys Export Division, Sylburn Thomas, who informed that Jamaicas ginger yield is second only to Nigerias, explained that the project targeting that spice is being undertaken in two components. One, he said, entails an open field operation aimed at increasing acreage and crop maintenance, with the second a nursery component - dedicated to the production of clean disease-free planting material. Regarding the open field operations, Thomas explained that, save for Kingston,

Renewed Drive to Expand Ginger and Turmeric Production


activities in this aspect will be undertaken in virtually every parish. He informed that based on the profile of material received and field research, expansion will be undertaken in several parishes, including: St. Catherine, Trelawny, St. James, and St. An-

GINGER AND TURMERIC PROJECTS: Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Roger Clarke (right), presents a cheque in the sum of $25 million, to General Manager, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Export Division, Sylburn Thomas (centre), during the launch of the Ministrys $42 million ginger and turmeric projects, at its Orange River Research Station, in St. Mary. The cheque represented a portion of the Ministrys input in the initiatives, which will be executed by the Export Division. Sharing the moment is Clarkes predecessor Senator Robert Montague.

drew. He reported that work to undertake full-scale ginger cultivation will be undertaken in parishes, such as Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann and Portland, while a programme of mainly maintenance will be carried in the others.



Director General of the Organisation of American States Jamaica Office, Dr. Joan Neil (2nd left), shakes the hand of Diana Blake (right) of Barada Farms in St. Thomas, after presenting her with a digital weighing scale on June 14, 2012 closing ceremony for the Rural Youth Capacity Building and Business Development Project held at the Scientific Research Council, Hope Gardens, St. Andrew. Sharing the moment are: Executive Director at the Scientific Research Council (SRC), Dr. Chadwick Anderson; and Manager, Project and Quality Management Systems, SRC, Marcia Henry. -JIS Photo:

By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter resident of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Glendon Harris, says the renewed effort by the Government to reduce praedial larceny is motivating farmers to stay in agriculture. Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the JAS, St. James parish organisation, held at the St. Johns Methodist Church, in Montego Bay, on June 20, Harris said that farmers across the island are pleased with the number of arrests and conviction of persons who steal agricultural produce. He said the work of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to promote the Agricultural Business Information System (ABIS), has helped to sensitise farmers in the protection of their crops. Singling out the parish of St. Thomas, where several persons have been fined or convicted recently for agricultural theft, the JAS President said the organisation has seen a growth in membership due to the work of the police to combat praedial larceny. My last check revealed that the membership of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, since January, has grown by over three thousand new

Fight against Praedial Larceny Motivating Farmers

-Courtesy of JIS s part of his Budget presentation tabled in Parliament on May 24, 2012 and the revised Budget tabled June 6, 2012 (following consultations with stakeholders) Finance Minister, Peter Phillips announced a number of revenue measures. These included tax measures for GCT which would impact the general public as follows: 1. Reduction in the standard rate of General Consumption Tax (GCT) from 17.5% to 16.5% In keeping with the Government of Jamaicas commitment to the tax reform and ensuring a reduction of rates, the standard rate of GCT payable in respect to taxable goods and services was reduced by one-percent (1%) point effective June 1, 2012. Consumers will therefore pay one-percent (1%) less when they buy taxable goods and services.



Somerset, St. Thomas: ood For The Poor (FFP) in collaboration with the European Union Banana Support Programme (EUBSP) on Thursday (June 21) launched the Economic Diversification Programme For Banana Producing Parishes, which seeks to provide alternative incomegenerating opportunities for small farmers, who traditionally cultivated bananas. The Launch took place at the Church of God of Prophesy, Somerset, St. Thomas. The Programme has a sixteen-month duration, and will provide forty small farmers in the traditional banana producing areas of Somerset, St. Thomas and Esher, St. Mary, with the materials, training and technical support necessary to engage in sustainable production of scotch bonnet peppers, goats and bees/honey. Most of the farmers participating in the project occupy holdings, which are between 0.4 hectares to 2.4 hectares. The Programme is being financed by the

Food For The Poor to assist banana farmers

European Union through the EUBSP, and implemented by Food For The Poor. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has the oversight for the Programme, while the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) assists with the implementaAndrew Mahfood, tion. Chairman, Delivering Remarks Food For The Poor at the Launch, Andrew Mahfood, Chairman, Food For The Poor, announced that his charity started the Project, with the aim of assisting small banana farmers who are suffering from a dramatic downturn in the volume of production and exports of bananas, due mainly to falling prices on the world market, the non-competitiveness

members, Harris said. This we can attribute to the fact that praedial larceny is now being enforced in several parishes, particularly in St. Thomas. The sales of receipt books have grown, and the police in that parish, and the Courts are working together to ensure that they rid the parish of praedial thieves, the President said.

Glendon Harris, President, Jamaica Agricultural Society

That has stimulated the farmers to register with RADA on the ABIS system, to join up with the JAS and be able to purchase their receipt books where they can trade like business people, Mr. Harris said. Recently the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries re-launched the receipt book system with a commitment to curb the high level of theft of agricultural produce. The initiative requires that all registered farmers and vendors must issue a receipt, identifiable by a unique number, to anyone who purchases agricultural produce, as proof of payment. It is estimated that farmers lose some $5 billion each year to theft. Harris, who is also President of the St. James JAS, announced that the organisation is supporting some 100 farmers in the parish to increase yam production. He told the gathering that the objective is geared at ensuring that at least one hundred more acres of yam are grown in the parish." The parish delegates returned Harris as President, and the Executive to serve another one year term.

2. Partially widen the GCT base In an effort to broaden the tax base and reduce the administrative issues being experienced, several items previously listed as exempt or zero-rated will now attract GCT at the standard rate of 16.5%. Consumers will now pay GCT on a wider range of goods and services. The items listed below are now taxable at the standard rate as at June 1, 2012. o Flavoured milk, milk based products, condensed milk and milk substitute o Corn beef (canned) o Pickled mackerel, herring, shad, dried salt fish o Buns, crackers (except water crackers), biscuits (salted and unsalted) o Eggs. o All patties o Rolled Oats o Live birds, fish, etc. o Syrup o Pet food o Planting materials including cereals and seeds in their natural state, dormant flower bulbs, corns, roots and tubers and nursery stock, vegetable plants and live trees o Surgical gloves, including disposable, sterile and those made of latex rubber o Printed matter, articles and materials 3. Amendment to the GCT regime as it relates to electricity GCT will no longer be payable by residential customers, replacing the current arrangement of a 10% charge on usage of electricity above a threshold of 200KWh. GCT rate for commercial customers will be increased from 10% to the standard rate of 16.5%. This measure will take effect July 1, 2012.

of Jamaicas banana exports on the European market and the negative effects of natural disasters. Mahfood outlined some features of the Programme, Through the imparting of knowledge and skills by our agriculturalists and the RADA extension officers, this Programme is creating a springboard for small farmers to benefit from new income-generating opportunities and increased profitability. This is consistent with FFPs philosophy of encouraging sustainable development projects. He also disclosed that FFP is providing small farmers with guidelines on post-harvesting and marketing of farm produce as well as assisting them with the establishment of Farmers Associations. The Chairman encouraged the recipient farmers and farmers islandwide to be focused and persistent in identifying and successfully pursuing market opportunities on the local and international scenes.




Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Roger Clarke (5th l) is all smiles as he poses with newly crowned 4-H Boy and 4-H Girl of the Year, Justin Thomas (3rd left) of Clarendon College and Akira Gowie (4rd l) of St. Mary High School. Sharing in the moment from left are 4-H Clubs Chairman, Senator Norman Grant, (1st l), and COK Sodality's Strategic Planning & Development Manager, Desmond Foster

This cubbie is all smiles as he shows off his trophy presented to him by IICA Representative to Jamaica, Ignatius Jean

he Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) said it was deeply concerned about the implications on the local manufacturing sector of waivers granted to Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited (PCSC), the local arm of Chinese firm Complant which owns three sugar factories in Jamaica. The issue for the Association as it relates to the governments agreement with PCSC is that the company has been offered tax breaks and waivers to import products that are locally manufactured, the JMA said in a release. Recently a press story revealed that Complant has received 20year tax breaks on general consumption, corporate income, withholding and transfer taxes as well as customs and stamp duties. The GCT waiver applies to the purchase of a range of goods, including fertilizer, as well a number of equipment. A July 2010 letter to Complant, signed by then Finance Minister Audley Shaw, indicated that the company has been granted the waivers. Complant bought the Frome, Bernard Lodge and Monymusk sugar factories in 2010. The JMA, noted specifically that fertilizer was listed as one of the goods eligible for waivers whilst we already have an established manufacturer of this product in Jamaica. It continued: In this regard, if the government has allowed, as part of the agreement for PCSC to retail its imported fertilizer, we could be on the verge of the closure of another manufacturing facility in Jamaica.

JMA Uneasy About Waivers to Sugar Company

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Creating Better Leaders For Tomorrow THE JAMAICA 4-H CLUBS
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Providing Training For The Nation's Youths (Age 5-25)


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

CASE Graduate Earns Doctor of Philosophy K

esha A. Henry, 33 a graduate of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), was on May 13, awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the prestigious Purdue University in Indiana, USA Henry specializes in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Agricultural and Extension Education and a minor in Communication. Henry graduated from CASE in 2000 with an Associate degree in Agricultural Science and a Bachelors of Technology degree in Environmental Science in 2004. Through her quest for higher education, she migrated to the United States where she earned a Masters of Science degree in Agricultural Education from North Carolina DR KESHA A. HENRY Agricultural & Technical State Unicultural science students through the versity (2008). Henry went on to read for the PhD lens of the Social Cognitive Career at Purdue. Her research focuses on Theory (SCCT). career development of urban agri-


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.

Her research was presented at several international and local conferences which include: the Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii; the Fourth Global Communication Forum, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and the National Association for Multicultural Education Conference, Chicago, Illinois. She has served on many committees and provided service in various capacities such as: Manuscript Reviewer for the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) Research Conference in Nebraska (2010); Evaluation Chair, and Coleader for the eXtension Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community of Practice (2009-present). Henry was recently hired by the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC).


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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By STEPHANIE STROM he Department of Agriculture announced that it had identified a case of mad cow disease, the first in six years, in a dairy cow in central California.

New Case of Mad Cow Disease Is Found in U.S


The cow was never presented for human consumption, so it at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health, John Clifford, chief veterinary officer at the department, said in a statement. Dr. Clifford noted that milk did not transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the scientific name for mad cow disease. He expressed confidence in the health of the nations cattle and the safety of beef during a press briefing in Washington. The animal had been picked up from the farm and taken to a rendering plant, which notified U.S.D.A. inspectors, Dr. Clifford said in a brief interview. The body will remain at the rendering facility and will be disposed of once the agency completes its investigation, probably by incineration or some other method that ensures the destruction of its tissues. It was the fourth reported case of mad cow disease, a degenerative disease that affects the brains and spinal cords of cattle, in the United States. Humans can contract

he Caribbean has been warned not to compromise their stance on the implementation of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) Standards to mitigate infectious disease. Such diseases include the deadly Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) known for its prevalence among livestock and risk for humans because of its transferability from animals to human. According to Dr. Cedric Lazarus, Regional Livestock Specialist, attached to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) in Barbados, the disease can be spread in raw unpasteurized milk or meat from infected cattle. Not only are the consumers of the infected milk or meat at risk, so are cattle farmers, veterinarians, animal health workers and public health meat inspectors. Children and infants, the elderly, immuno-compromised persons and persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV/AIDS) are also susceptible. Bovine TB, explained Dr Lazarus, is caused from Mycobacterium bovis (Tuber-

Caribbean Region Warned about Deadly Livestock Disease Transferable To Humans

the disease by eating meat from an infected cow. Only one case of mad cow disease in the United States was of the type derived from feed. That case set off a panic in 2003 when a Canadian-born cow in Washington state tested positive. Exports of American beef plummeted as countries instituted bans, and livestock producers and meatpacking companies lost billions of dollars. Asian nations in particular remain wary of American beef, and news Tuesday that another infected cow had been identified sent cattle futures for June delivery to their lowest level in 11 months. The U.S.D.A. tested more than 795,000 animals in the 18 months after that cow was identified and found only two more cases. Neither was a type of B.S.E. associated with infected feed. In 2006, the department said the identification of only two additional infected animals suggested it was using a bazooka to fight a mouse. It cut its surveillance program by 90 percent, despite criticism from consumer groups. Those same critics on Tuesday complained again about the departments surveillance program. We really dont know if this is an isolated unusual event or whether there are more cases in U.S. beef, Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. Our monitoring program is just too small. The two other animals with mad cow disease as well as the one identified on Tuesday all had a form called atypical B.S.E. We do not believe this was passed to the animal through infected feed materials, Dr. Clifford said.

culosis and M. avium). It is spread mainly by ingestion. Cows get the bacteria from other cows mainly by breathing it in or by ingestion. The disease mainly is concentrated in lungs, lymph nodes, gut, bladder, liver, and kidney, Dr Lazarus told Panos Caribbean. in most cattle there will be no symptoms at all. Hence most farmers will not know if their cows have the disease or not. While this has serious public health implications, Dr Lazarus explained that some countries are free from Bovine TB. Among those listed are many European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and some Caribbean countries such as Cuba and Jamaica. With the revelation of these concerns authorities in some countries like Antigua and Barbuda are taking action. Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Oona Edwards at the Ministry Of Agriculture, Lands, Housing & the Environment in Antigua said that the department has already moved to close any gaps for the entrance of the epidemic.

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
Willie Henry Drive, Kingston 15

Coffee Industry Board

Advisory Services Unit




inger (Zingiber officinale Rosc) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the family Zingiberaceae. The production of ginger in Jamaica dates back to the early 1500s. Ginger production has been concentrated in the parishes of St. Thomas, Manchester, Clarendon and St. Ann. Site Selection Planting Ginger does best on loose, well-drained, Planting Season: Ginger planting season runs well-aerated, light soils (eg. loams) that are from February to June and in some northrich in organic matter and neutral to slightly eastern provinces until July. Planting after acidic (pH 6.0 7.0). Lime amendments or July results in reduced yield due to early aluminum sulphate (or sulphur) can be ap- senescence of leaves. plied to the soil to raise or lower the pH, respectively. Ginger grows at elevations from sea level to about 1,500m and requires about 1500mm of well-distributed rainfall over the 9-month growing season. A one-month dry spell is desirable prior to harvesting and during land preparation. Mechanized field operations are suitable for lands with about 1% slope.
Land Preparation The land is cleared of weeds and shrubs, ploughed and allowed to weather for 1- 2 months before planting. This period is necessary for weed seeds to germinate and for the soil to become more friable and conducive for pulverization (refining). About 2-3 weeks before planting, the soil is pulverized to a fine tilth. While pulverizing, well decomposed organic matter (humus/compost) should be incorporated into the soil at a rate of 20-25 tons per hectare to improve the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil and help retain balanced soil ecology. Decomposed poultry manure is rich in nitrogen and is a particularly good source of organic matter. Stable (horse) manure, vegetable remains, coffee pulp, and compost from household organic waste are also suitable sources of organic matter.

Producing Ginger in Jamaica

Submitted by Sylburn Thomas
wide planting distance (8m-9m x 8m-9m). Gently sloping land, with deep well-drained soil is ideal for intercropping ginger and tree crops (eg. cashew, nutmeg, coconut and coffee). Cash crops such as okra, pigeon peas and corn are also suitable for intercropping with ginger. Fertilizer Fertilizer is one of the major costs in ginger production. Hence, attention should be given to applying the correct grade and quantity of fertilizers, at the appropriate time in the crop cycle, and in a suitable form to optimize nutrient uptake and yield. It is critical that fertilizer requirement be determined by soil fertility analysis, which will indicate the concentration of primary (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - NPK), secondary (calcium, magnesium and sulphur), and micro (boron, copper, iron, chlorine, etc) nutrients in the soil. The recommended doses of primary nutrients (NPK) in ginger production are 75100kg, 50-70kg and 50-70 kg of N, P2O5 and K2O per hectare (ha), respectively. Application of organic matter to the soil can reduce inorganic fertilizer requirement and improve yield. In fact, ginger yield is reported to be positively associated with organic matter application up to a total of 50 tons/ha. The fertilizer regime in ginger production in Jamaica typically takes the form of a single application of 14-28-14 or 18-18-18 blend fertilizer during land preparation. However, in general, this practice does not represent the most economical use of fertilizer.



(eggplant, peppers, and tomato), maize, leafy vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, pak choi). Roots crops (yams, potatoes, etc) are not considered suitable for rotation with ginger, given their susceptibility to nematode infestation. Water management Ginger can be grown under rain-fed and irrigated conditions. The ginger plant requires about 1500mm of well-distributed rainfall per year, with a dry season during the harvesting period. Mulching, contour planting, intercropping, and ridges / raised beds contribute to greater soil moisture conservation. Ginger can be irrigated by drip or sprinkler methods, with the former recommended for fertigation and the latter where ginger is grown without shade.

Storing seed rhizomes Seed rhizomes should be stored in a cool, shaded area and covered with sand, sawdust, coir or leaves. The area should be sprayed with a nematicide prior to storing. Storage of seed rhizomes is essential for disease symptoms to manifest and for rhizomes to sprout. Under proper storage conditions seed rhizomes should sprout within three weeks.

Planting material Except for tissue culture plantlet, ginger is always propagated from portions of rhizomes known as seed rhizomes. Each seed piece is 2.5-5 cm long, weighs 15-30g and has 2 3 viable buds. Sprouting percentage and yield varies positively with seed size between 10g and 40g per seed piece. Traditionally, Jamaican farmers plant larger seed pieces of about 60g to 70g (called barampa), which are harvested and sold with the new crop. Since planting material accounts for 30% to 40% of production cost, seed size could influence the economic viability of ginger production. Planting material should be selected from healthy, disease-free, well-formed rhizomes that are characteristic of the variety and free of physical defects. Healthy disease-free parent/mother plants should be identified and marked in the field from the crop is 6-8 months in cultivation.

Pre-planting treatment - Given the high incidence of ginger rhizome rot (GRR) disease in Jamaica, it is recommended that ginger seed rhizomes, although asymptomatic of GRR disease, be treated with fungicide or hot water prior to planting. Fungicide treatment - For fungicide treatment, dip seed pieces in a fungicide mixture (eg. Thiophanate-Methyl {Topsin M}; Mancozeb {Ridomil Gold}; or Copper Hydroxide {Kocide 2000}) for 20 minutes and air-dry for 3-4 hours before planting. Systemic fungicides are reported to have greater efficacy in controlling ginger rhizome rot disease than contact fungicides. Hot water treatment - During hot water treatment, seed pieces are immersed into hot water at 50C for 15 minutes. The temperature and exposure time are sufficient to destroy the GRR pathogens without compromising the viability of the planting material. Field Seeding: Where planting is on ridges, the seed rhizomes are planted in shallow pits prepared by hand or with a hoe and covered with a thin layer of soil. Spacing depends on soil fertility, soil type, crop management, disease prevalence, seed size and other growing conditions. Planting depth also depends on seed size, soil type and soil moisture. Generally, seed rhizomes are planted at a spacing of 20-25 cm x 20-25cm and at a depth of 3.5 to 8 cm. This gives 160,000 to 250,000 plants per hectare. Other things constant, planting density, within the specified range, is positively associated with yield. It requires between 2,400 kg and 5,000kg of seed rhizomes to plant one hectare of land on high density fields. In Jamaica, ginger is sometimes spaced at 15cm-20cm x 30cm45cm. Shading and intercropping: Shade is not absolutely necessary for ginger production. However, research confirms optimum yield at 25% percent shade, with shading up to 75% giving superior yield to unshaded fields. In Jamaica, ginger is grown predominantly in the hilly terrains, where natural shading is between 20% and 40%. Ginger is a suitable for intercropping, especially with tree crops that require relatively

Mulching Mulching is important to improve soil structure and fertility, reduce soil erosion, conserve soil moisture and suppress weed growth. Mulching should be done at the time of planting, and again immediately after weeding and fertilizing. Mulching is particularly essential for ginger grown on slopes and under rain-fed conditions. Green leaves, grass clippings and sugarcane trash are excellent sources of mulch. Weeding and Moulding Weeds compete with the economic plant for nutrients, sunlight and space and should be suppressed in the ginger field. Ginger is highly susceptible to diseases and nutrient deficiency and will succumb to the stresses from overgrown weeds. The first weeding is done at about 4-8 weeks after planting. Two or more weedings may be needed to adequately suppress weed growth. Fertilizing and moulding (earthing up) should, as far as possible, be done just after weeding. Moulding is essential to prevent exposure of the rhizome and to create soil volume for free rhizome growth. Moulding also improves percolation, aeration and activities of soil organisms. Crop Rotation As part of good agricultural practice, it is recommended that the ginger crop be rotated every 2 to 3 crop cycle (year) for one or two cycles, with crops of different nutrient demand and pest and disease susceptibilities. In addition to restoring soil fertility, crop rotation helps to break pest and disease cycles. Suitable crops for rotation with ginger are legumes (peas, beans, peanut), solanaceae

Diseases Ginger Rhizome Rot (GRR)- This is the main disease affecting ginger production in Jamaica. The GRR disease was detected in 1995 and has progressively worsened over the years. The disease affects all parts of the plants and is manifested in flaccid/wilted leaves, suppressed chlorophyll and premature drying of leaves. Rhizomes affected by GRR disease may look healthy outside. Internal tissues of the rhizome may look lighter or darker in colour than normal, and may give a foul odor. Normal-looking rhizomes that are placed in storage typically shrivel or rot after two to three weeks, if they are diseased. The disease is caused by a complex of organisms (Fusarium spp., Pythium spp., Pseudomonas spp.) The pathogens are spread by seed rhizomes, soil, tools, and personnel. . Leaf Spots Leaves may have small, whitish spots with yellow edges. These get larger and spread, making the leaf yellow then brown, eventually killing it. Early in the crop, it can cause severe losses by lowing photosynthetic processes.

Bacterial Wilt This has not been detected in Jamaica, but is known to affect ginger plants in most producing countries. Harvesting: Physiologically, the ginger crop is ready for harvesting about 9 months after planting, when the leaves begin to turn yellow. However, harvesting can be delayed until the vegetative portions have fully died back at about 12 months after planting. In Jamaica, harvesting is done manually by digging the rhizomes from the soil with a garden fork or shovel. Soil and debris are removed and the rhizomes washed in potable water, before air drying and packed in polypropylene or jute/burlap bags. The crop is harvested in December for the fresh/retail market and from January to April for processing.
-------------------------------------------------------For further information contact: Sylburn Thomas, General Manager Export Division, Ministry of Agriculture Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston Tel: (876) 9238878



Chop any cooked food very finely NO BONES! Until 3 months of age the puppy should be fed four times daily From 3 to 6 months three times a day -From 6 to 12 months twice a day Introduce new foods gradually Always prepare and serve food under clean conditions Do not serve hot food let it cool first Remember milk is not a meal by itself Provide plenty of fresh water and check it several times a day Commercial puppy chow is a balanced diet, and provides all the minerals and vitamins required by a growing pup.

Caring For a New Puppy

For the very young ones the feed may be moistened. Vaccinations Vaccinating boosts the immunity of the animal, and is especially important for young puppies, as it provides them with the ability to fight off infection all through adult life. Ideally, the first vaccination should be given at 6 weeks, and subsequently at three-week intervals until 16 weeks of age. At the same time de-worming is recommended at 1721 days, and then every 3 weeks in conjunction with vaccination. animals should be given regular heartworm protection medication, especially puppies. A blood test is performed by 6 months of age to ensure the animal is clear, the prophylactic is administered, and continued thereafter on a monthly basis. Routine testing should be done at least once a year. Symptoms vary, but common signs are coughing, weight loss, lack of energy, depression and shortness of breath. Heartworm can be treated, but the treatment is very expensive, and total rest is a MUST for at least four weeks afterwards. There is no guarantee that the animal will stay free of heartworm, and monthly prophylactics should continue to be given.


In the long run prevention is better, and cheaper, than cure (J.S.P.C.A.s prices are very reasonable).


Heartworm This condition is spread by the bite of mosquitoes, and can be fatal. All

Leptospirosis Leptospirosis is a disease caused by spiral shaped bacteria called leptospires. It occurs worldwide and can affect humans as well as many

NUTRISPHERE -N: This can improve the yields potentially by improving nutrient availability. Certain soil bacteria convert nitrogen fertilizer into NITRATES that are prone to leaching and volatilization. NutriSphere-N selectively inhibits unwanted chemical reactions without harming the bacterial spectrum in the soil. Plants can do more with nitrogen in its AMMONIUM form than they can with NITRATES. That means less leaching, less volatilization and more available nitrogen to aid development, growth and yield potential. A 10-15% increase in yield potential can be expected when NutriSphere- N is added to the mix. Urea as a source of nitrogen in your formulation is treated with NutriSphere - N.

New Technology in Plant Nutrients

wild and domestic animals, including dogs and cats, although infection in cats is rare). The bacteria are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Humans and animals can become infected through contact with this contaminated urine. The bacteria can enter the body through skin, eyes, nose, or mouth, especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection. If your pet has become infected, it most likely came into contact with rat urine. Your pet may have been drinking, or walking through contaminated water.

WOLF-TRAX (DDP) Micronutrients: This technology provides 100% coverage with microelements. In comparison, granular micronutrients make up less than five percent of the final fertilizer blend, making even distribution across the field much harder. Wolf-Trax DDP micronutrients are designed to coat and affix to each prill of dry N, P, or K fertilizer. Recommended rates are lower than traditional micronutrient rates because the technology enables the use of fertilizer prills to more effectively deliver the micronutrient throughout the soil pr granular micronutrient technology that may be inefficiently distributed in the soil. Elemental TIGER 90CR SULPHUR: Uses and advantages: Provides direct nutritive value (plants require sulphur essential element). Improves the efficiency of other plant nutrients particularly nitrogen and phosphorous. Utilizes both sulphate and sulphur for effective sulphur fertility. Minimizes losses due to leaching. Effective soil amendment with large S applications, due to large amount of sulfuric acid produced. Reacts with free lime (CaCO3 ) converting to soluble calcium sulfate (gypsum) Improves soil structure and water penetration. In some studies it was proven to increase sugar content in sugarcane and banana by 10-23%, while improving purity by 0.8% on alkaline calcareous soil.

AVAIL: There is evidence from AVAIL on various soils of an additional 30-40 % more P being taken up by the plant that would relate to a much greater efficiency of the P fertilizer being applied. AVAIL also decreases the negative impact of Aluminum on acid soils. When high concentrations of Aluminum (Al) are present in a field there are associated increases of Al toxicity and poor P mobility from the soil solution into the plant. AVAIL tends to over-come these concerns and would improve P performance by up to 50%. This is huge and should mean a great deal to the producer who is interested in seeking the most P efficient material available. DAP as a source of phosphorous and nitrogen in your formulation is treated with Avail.

Send questions and comments: Hedda Rose-Pitter, Sales Manager Newport-Fersan (Jamaica) Ltd. Lot 2A / 2B Wherry Wharf Complex, Newport East, Kingston 5 Tel: 967-5815 Fax: 948-3772



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