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Agriculture Minister Says Banana Importation Likely

The hurricane came just as the banana industry embarked on a programme to resuscitate production with the aim of limiting the volume of imported banana chips.

Speaking on RJR’s Beyond the Headlines last evening, Clarke said it is likely that Jamaica will have to import bananas to meet the demand for banana chips production.

But, he says there is no decision yet on the wholesale importation of bananas.

Meanwhile, the agriculture minister says other cash crops such as coffee and sugar cane have also been impacted by the hurricane.

It is anticipated that sugar production will also be affected.

According to the agriculture minister, personnel are now in the field collecting information on the extent of the damage, and a high level team is to visit banana farms in St Mary today.

Clarke says major food producing parishes such as Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland and Hanover suffered little damage during the passage of Hurricane Sandy and it remains to be seen how the storm will impact food prices.

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