Opposition parties are taking issue with the Jamaican government over the issuance of onion import permits. The move came after the government had encouraged domestic farmers to increase onion production.
In a statement, Spokesperson on Agriculture, Lothan Cousins said the timing was irrational and called for the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, to explain why the methodology created to assess existing local production before contemplating import permits was abandoned under his watch.
The spokesperson said he was disappointed that the onion production program was being frustrated by the government's propensity to issue import permits. The opposition is also calling for transparency in the awarding of the import permits. Cousins said the Opposition is asking for full disclosure in order to promote fairness and remove any potential for connected persons to benefit from the farmers' plight.