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Jamaican Ministry reopens borders for potatoes and onions

Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF) has reopened the borders for Irish potatoes and onions, in an attempt to meet rising demand as the economy is reopening.

In April, MICAF announced a temporary suspension of agricultural imports to safeguard markets for locally produced goods, following appeals from government senator and Group CEO of food and financial services conglomerate GraceKennedy Limited, Don Wehby, and President and CEO of Jamaica Broilers Group Christopher Levy.

That suspension is now being lifted, which will reopen the market to more competition from imports. In response to questions posed by the Financial Gleaner, the Ministry said it was not aware of the concerns raised around the displacement of local production from such products. MICAF said its recent assessment of agricultural commodities found that some items such as Irish potatoes and onions were in short supply.

The import quantities will be determined by demand for the products, MICAF added, while noting that in most cases the quantities required to satisfy consumption are down by 30 to 40 per cent.


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