April 06, 2020

Suspend Agricultural Imports

Letter to the Editor- Published in the Jamaica Gleaner

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I would like to express my support for the call made by Senator Don Wehby while speaking in the Senate on Friday, March 27, 2020, for the suspension of the importation of agricultural produce.

Our farmers and local manufacturers are being faced with a sudden and drastic reduction in the demand curve. This can only be compensated for with an equally aggressive reduction in the importation of finished goods.

It is critical that we do everything we can as a nation to retain the viability of the agriculture sector. Utilising the excess available now, in the absence of tourism, is crucial towards keeping farmers engaged in feeding the nation and, in turn, their own families.

If we don’t support the agricultural sector now, it will not be there to supply when the increased demand is restored. This will, in turn, have a dampening impact on our ability to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

I know the Government is fully aware of the issue, but broad action needs to be taken quickly.

CHRISTOPHER LEVY

Group President & CEO

Jamaica Broilers Group

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Recent News

  • Major Jamaican chicken producers are pressing the Government for 100 per cent inspection of all poultry imports in the wake of a damning report by the Integrity Commission citing fraud, duty evasion, and a permit process that lacks integrity and facilitates corruption.

  • KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Integrity Commission says it has uncovered discriminatory processes at the agriculture ministry being used to issue permits to importers of chicken back and other poultry products, and that the practice should be discontinued immediately.

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries should stop with immediate effect the issuance of chicken back and neck import permits under current arrangements, the Integrity Commission has recommended in a damning report.