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Jamaica Sorghum Production Will 'Reduce Import Bill'

12 February 2013

JAMAICA - Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, says the production of sorghum in Jamaica augurs well for the future of the agriculture industry. He said that large scale cultivation of the crop will boost the livestock industry and also assist in reducing the sector’s almost $2 billion per year import bill.

“We want to see how much of a dent we can make into the importation of animal feeds and other inputs into the agricultural sector; anything that we can do to save foreign exchange is something that is good for the country,” he stated.

Minister Clarke was speaking to JIS News following a tour of the Caribbean Broilers Group sorghum facilities on Thursday, February 7, in Hill Run, St. Catherine.

Sorghum is a genus of numerous grass species, some of which are raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants. The plants take three to four months to reach maturity and are cultivated in warm climates around the world.

Caribbean Broilers is growing the crop to be used for feedstock as a replacement for imported corn. The Minister lauded the initiative, stating that he is impressed by the results so far.

“As we speak, they have just put in 20 acres on an experimental basis. They have bought machines and they intend to do thousands of acres. They have brought in expertise from the United States and based on the results so far, it is very encouraging,” Minister Clarke said.

He said the Ministry has been having discussions with Caribbean Broilers regarding the production of local animal feeds and is willing to partners to other private sector entities in the effort.

“I have committed to working with them to see wherever Government lands are available and we would work with them to see how we can get them to expand production,” the Minister told JIS News.

TheCropSite News Desk

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