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Agriculture Ministry allocates $141 million to safeguard cocoa, banana industries


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June 2020
 

Lead Compliance Supervisor on the Frosty Pod Rot Disease Management Project in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Alfred Dunkley (left), and St. Mary cocoa farmer David Pinnock examine a cocoa pod on a farm in the parish. The project team visited the farm to find out how farmers have benefitted from the implementation of cultural and chemical measures geared at eliminating the Frosty Pod Rot disease.

Above Body

 18 Jun 2020    ICTAdmin   

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has allocated $105 million to continue activities under the Frosty Pod Rot (FPR) Management Project to safeguard the cocoa industry. Making the disclosure in his 2020/21 Sectoral Presentation in the House of Representatives on June 16, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, noted that with the introduction of these activities, the industry continues to reap success. “With some 1,800 acres of cocoa already treated for the Frosty Pod Rot disease, we are now witnessing increased cocoa production nationally with a projection of some 4,730 boxes in 2019-2020 up from 4,360 in 2018-2019,” he said.

Frosty Pod Rot is a fungal disease that affects the cocoa. It can cause serious damage to the cocoa industry, reducing crop yield up to 80 per cent per year. The FPR management project was granted budgetary support by the Government in January 2018 to the tune of $200 million and has been implemented in the parish of St. Mary and is set to continue in the parish of Clarendon.
The five components of the project are cultural and chemical control, public awareness, research and development, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.

In addition, as the Ministry continues to observe 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health, Mr. Shaw informed that $36 million has been allocated to the prevention and management of the Tropical Race 4 (TR4) Disease to protect and, by extension, expand the banana industry. The TR4 Disease of banana or fusarium wilt is a deadly disease of bananas and plantains. It is caused by a soil-borne fungus and is currently not present in Jamaica.

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