The Jamaican government is pledging $60 million to boost local onion production

In a major move aimed at strengthening the agricultural sector, the Jamaican government has set aside $60 million to support onion farming initiatives, signaling a renewed commitment to improving local crop production.

Technological advances to improve onion cultivation

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Floyd Green announced this allocation during his recent speech in the Sectoral Debate 2024/25 in the House of Representatives.

The funds are intended to facilitate the integration of advanced technology, especially the installation of drying facilities, aimed at extending the shelf life of onion crops and ensuring sustainable productivity.

Highlighting the remarkable progress made in local onion production, Minister Green disclosed that the country witnessed a staggering 644 percent increase in production between 2017 and 2023.

From a modest 800 tons, local onion production increased to an impressive 6,000 tons.

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Moreover, the import figures reflect a notable decline of 11.9 percent, underscoring the effectiveness of government support in boosting domestic production.

Impact of production and productivity program

Minister Green attributed much of this success to the implementation of strategic initiatives under the Production and Productivity Program and highlighted the central role of the program in driving significant growth in the onion sector.

It is notable that the demand for onions increased from 8,000 tons in 2017 to 13,000 tons in 2023, showing a robust increase.

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The minister proudly announced that the country has exceeded its initial target of producing 40 percent of its consumption needs; currently it stands at an impressive 44 percent.

Tackling challenges in Irish potato farming

Minister Green also shed light on the challenges Irish potato growers have faced over the past two years, particularly in the area of ​​water accessibility.

However, in an effort to address these challenges, the government has invested in critical infrastructure, including the construction of a $5 million water collection system in Hinds Town, St. Ann.

This strategic move aims to give farmers better access to water sources, strengthening Irish potato production and ensuring sustainable agricultural practices in the region.